Masters: Jason Day struggles with his back, needs treatment on the course

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Jason Day is spending Thursday afternoon gritting through a painful first round of the Masters.

The former world No. 1 is grimacing each time he bends down – to plant his tee, to read a green, to grab his ball from the hole – apparently feeling the effects of back injury he re-aggravated earlier Thursday. ESPN reported Day did so picking up his daughter on the practice green before he teed off.

In visible pain and moving very gingerly, Day retreated during the second hole and again before he teed off on the fourth to work with a trainer, laying on his back, under the pines at Augusta National, trying desperately to loosen up.

Jason Day stretches with the assistance of a trainer near the second tee during the first round of the Masters. (Photo: Michael Madrid, USA TODAY Sports)

It hasn't slowed him down much on the course: After bogeying the first hole, Day responded with a birdie on No. 2 and is even through four holes.

He was forced to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March with back pain, but rebounded nicely at The Players to tie for eighth. The back also forced to withdraw from two tournaments late in the 2016 season when he was No. 1 in the world.

"If (my back) starts to hurt I'll have to tough it out," he said earlier this week.

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