Jason Day heads into Tour Championship with balky back

Jason Day is trying to ease his way into the season-ending Tour Championship after a back issue forced him to withdraw during the final round of the BMW Championship on Sept. 11.

Day, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, heads into the 30-player tournament ranked fourth in the FedEx Cup standings with a chance again to be the overall FedEx champion after a three-victory season that’s saw him win the Players Championship.

The back issues that plagued him on his way to the WGC-Dell Match Play title in March resurfaced in Indianapolis and Day, 28, has been taking it slowly since, only getting back to practicing a few days ago.

“It’s not the first time it happened; I put the tee in the ground at the BMW Championship , and my back went out. Last time it went out, I changed a diaper. So it’s nothing where I physically make a move at it during a swing and my back goes out. It literally is from the smallest things — picking up a pillow, picking up something off the ground, or just moving the wrong way.”

Day has dealt with a bulging disk for a good part of his career and it has flared at times, treated with exercise and rehabilitation. The three-tournament playoff stretch recently got the best of him, however.

“I feel like the practice over the last couple of days back at home felt pretty good,” he said. “Haven’t been able to prep as much as I would like … but overall I feel good.”

Day will be grouped during the first round with fellow Aussie Adam Scott. The duo along with Dustin Johnson, No. 1 in points, Patrick Reed and Paul Casey can all secure the FedEx Cup with a victory in the $8.5 million Tour Championship. A FedEx title comes with a $10 million bonus.

Earlier Wednesday, Day announced that he was staying with TaylorMade, the equipment company that he has been with since turning pro 10 years ago. He declined to comment on the reports that he has also signed with Nike to wear the company’s golf apparel.

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