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Day to hone short game in training camp

AAP logoAAP 9/01/2017 Evin Priest

World No.1 Jason Day expects a two-week training camp in the Californian desert to restore the razor-like sharpness to his golf game for the big 2017 season ahead.

Day finished a respectable tied 12th at 13-under-par at the 32-man Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in his return after more than three months off while rehabbing a back injury.

But a little rust was evident as he never really threatened and his scores of 70 69 70 70 at Kapalua's Plantation course left him a distant nine shots behind winner Justin Thomas, who held off Hideki Matsuyama for a three-shot victory.

Day and his career-long coach and caddie Col Swatton will now embark on their annual training trip to Palm Springs in California before his next event, the Farmers Insurance Open, at Torrey Pines starting on January 26.

"Two weeks (there) is going to be very important," Day said.

"I'll be staying on top of the body, and really work at the short game.

"If I can get back to where I was last year, then I should be ready for Torrey."

Day, who won the Farmers Insurance Open in a playoff in 2014, is hoping to be paired there with former world No.1 Tiger Woods, who has committed to the tournament after ending a 16-month injury hiatus at his December Hero World Challenge event.

"That would be great," said Day.

"Obviously, I haven't played with him for a while. But I watched the Hero and (his comeback) was positive because he made a lot of birdies that week."

Though Day finished as the leading Australian at the Tournament of Champions, which features the previous year's tour winners, it was the first time he finished outside the top 10 in his four starts there.

"I feel good about how my back performed," said Day.

"To be able to walk around this golf course and play and hit off the awkward lies, it didn't have an effect on me, which is great."

Veteran Rod Pampling was next best of the Australians, with his 11-under total enough to share 17th.

Aaron Baddeley was a further five shots back in a tie for 25th, while Greg Chalmers rounded out the Australian contingent alone in 28th at five under.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth's 64 rocketed him into a share of third.

The world No.5 believes his strong finish gives him momentum heading into this week's Sony Open in Hawaii.

"I had 26 birdies and an eagle this week, which certainly should be good enough on this course to win," said Spieth.

"I'm glad that I'm playing next week. It's going to be I think a good week for us."

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