Who knows where Jason Day would have ended up if it hadn’t been for Colin Swatton. Swatton is much more than just a caddie to Day. In fact, Swatton is almost like the father Day lost at the tender age of 12. When the Australian player was dulling his grief with alcohol and getting into fistfights with other boys, Swatton gently led him from his self-sabotaging cycle to the Hills International Academy in Queensland and had him hitting thousands of golf balls. Day’s father had gotten him into the game when he was 3 and Swatton was trying to reach the passion he knew was lying dormant within the angry pre-teen. They were off to a rocky start, as Swatton was a strict coach and younger Day didn’t think much of authority figures. But look where they are today.
When Jason Day finally won the PGA Championship with the only 20-under score in major championship history, the first person he turned to was Swatton. Both of them were in tears.
“On the 18th, all I said was ‘I love you.'” Swatton admitted, “And he loves me, and we were just a blubbering mess. It was pretty cool.”
Day corroborated this in his own press statement, “He’s been there for me since I was 12 1/2 years old. I mean, he’s taken me from a kid that was getting in fights at home and getting drunk at 12 and not heading in the right direction, to a major champion. And there’s not many coaches that can say that in many sports. So he means the world to me. I love him to death.”
It was a rare, touching moment of vulnerability for the competitive world of sports. Hopefully, their bond will inspire more people to reach out to all the struggling kids out there. All that repressed anger might just be misdirected passion and determination.