It couldn’t have come at a better time.
Despite a promising win over the All Blacks in Game One, Australia’s long-lost hold on the Bledisloe Cup evaporated in ignominy at the weekend. Not to mention THAT Quade Cooper tackle.
Our cricketers have failed miserably on the world stage, forcing Michael Clarke to call it quits after another Ashes debacle.
And then there’s Nick Kyrgios and his grubby sledge at Stanislas Wawrinka -- not to mention the follow-up comments from his brother -- and Bernard Tomic throwing the proverbial dummy every time Pat Rafter picks up the phone.
Enter Australian golfer Jason Day. The softly spoken 27-year-old lifted one of the sport’s most prestigious trophies on Monday, taking the PGA Championship in front of his wife and son.
More significant than winning the title just weeks after collapsing on the course during tournament -- he was later diagnosed with vertigo -- was the humility with which he celebrated the triumph.
Day became emotional during his speech on Monday, admitting the title win had been a long-time coming and something he had dreamed of since he was 12 years old.
He has come close to success at major tournaments on many previous occasions but has never been able to bring home the prize -- often fading over final holes or being passed by the better man on the day.
Australian sport needs more Jason Days, more Mick Fannings, more Laura Geitzs. There was no arrogance when the Diamonds lifted netball’s World Cup in Sydney on Sunday. Fanning became a viral sensation for punching a shark, but it was his tender and raw account of those terrifying seconds in the waves off South Africa that endeared him to the public.
Day’s victory is sweeter for the wait and reminds us that Australian athletes still remember how to strike a ball with a stick. But most importantly he’s a positive role model at a time when Australian sport is crying out for more.