Jason Day defends Disney World trip after withdrawing from Arnold Palmer Invitational
Last Updated: 14/03/19 1:47pm
Jason Day has hit back at those who criticised him on social media following his withdrawal from the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week.
Day could manage only six holes at Bay Hill on Thursday before back issues forced him to withdraw in pain, with a subsequent MRI scan revealing a tear in a disc in his lower back.
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The 2016 Players Champion was able to play 18 holes on Monday ahead of this week's Sawgrass event, but it was his appearance at Disney World with his family the day after pulling out last week that caused the most consternation on Twitter.
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"I heard there was a photo going on social media about me enjoying a day with my family," said the Australian. "Heaven forbid I enjoy a day with my family.
"I was there half a day walking around. [My doctor] didn't want me to lay down. He just wanted me to walk around, stay on my feet, kind of get things loose, and then after that I went and saw my physio at the golf course."
Day said he was determined not to let the criticism bother him.
"That person that took a photo took a tremendous photo of me. I actually liked it. But it was kind of creepy, just on the side," he said.
"But it's hard because when you're in the spotlight. You have to act in a professional manner, and you do have your hand tied behind your back because you can't bite back sometimes because it makes you look worse off."
He added: "I don't care, like, if people make memes about me. I think a lot of them are funny.
"I mean, it's fine. It is what it is. People trying to be funny and that, I get a good laugh out of it and I'm okay with that.
"You can tell between people that are being funny and people that are actually trying to ... that really hate you."
The former world No 1 is hopeful his back problems will not flair up and hamper his challenge in Florida this week.
"My long term confidence in terms of my back, I am not even thinking about it right now," he said. "I feel really cautiously optimistic about how things are progressing and the way that I feel.
"When pain starts shooting down my legs, that's obviously a no-go. My back seizes up, and I can't really walk ... it feels like your world is ending. It feels like is this going to be the last time that I am going to pick up a golf club.
"It's not great mentally to come back from an injury so your confidence is hit a little bit, but overall I feel good."