Jason Day essential to an International team victory at 2013 Presidents Cup

David Cannon

In his debut on native soil in Melbourne, Jason Day posted an underwhelming record. He's one of the world-class players on the International side who can match up with almost anyone on the American team, and he must succeed this week for his team to have a chance.

Jason Day may be playing for the International side, but this week's Presidents Cup is a home game for the Aussie. Day resides in the Columbus area with his wife, an Ohio native, and is even a member at Muirfield Village. He's said he'll be keeping an eye on fellow members to see if they're rooting for him or their country throughout the weekend. It's certainly an advantage to have that familiarity with the Jack Nicklaus layout, but because it's a regular annual PGA Tour stop, almost every International player has gotten their reps on the course.

Day and fellow Aussie Adam Scott are the International team's top two players, both consistently showing up and contending at the game's biggest events. Scott finally broke through for his first major at Augusta this year, and Day was once again nails at all the biggest championships. He seems to always be in the mix on Sunday, and it's likely he'll get his first soon. It's unlikely, however, that Day and Scott are paired together, with captain Nick Price probably splitting them up to mentor or carry two of the rookies and untested guys.

Day finished the year with more than $3.5 million in earnings and seven top 10 results. He went deep in the WGC Match Play event earlier this year, making it to the final four before getting knocked off by eventual winner Matt Kuchar. So he's demonstrated an ability to succeed in this format against the best players in the world, and his majors record has demonstrated his ability to succeed in the most intense settings.

And for the Internationals to have any chance, Day has to have a winning record this weekend. He, along with Scott, must make hay and put points on the board, regardless of who they're matched up against or paired with. Even though it's only his second Presidents Cup, he's already a leader and it's likely he'll be a mainstay on this team for the long-term, much like Ernie Els. If the Internationals want to make this competitive again, he'll need to come through at his home club.

World Ranking: 16

Qualified: Automatic spot No. 2 of 10

Presidents Cup Match Play Record: 1-3-1 (2011)

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