Par for the course, Jason Day didn’t contain LeBron James.
He’s not alone.
“I don’t think anyone thinks they could stop LeBron,’’ Day said.
Day’s comment was as true as one of his shots.
Day, the world’s No. 2 golfer, returns next week to defend his Famers Insurance Open title at Torrey Pines.
While Day’s game is second to just Jordan Spieth, it’s James which drove a point home.
Or better put, James clobbered Day’s wife, Ellie, driving her head over heels.
The Day couple was with friends recently at a Cavilers game, when they had a meet-and-greet with James.
Except it came with time on the clock.
“We were sitting courtside, but we really didn’t expect this to happen,’’ Day said. “We weren’t really paying attention when out of the corner of my eye I see the ball and then this 6-foot-8, 260-pound behemoth of a guy coming toward us. We just froze.’’
A sprinting James dove for the loose ball and clobbered Ellie, with his right shoulder leading the way. She tumbled over in a heap and Day had a heap of worry.
“She was kind of freaking out saying, ‘my neck is hurt,’’’ Day said. “Three doctors immediately came around her and when she moved her hands and legs, we knew everything was OK.’’
She exited with a concussion and on a stretcher, hearing something her husband is accustomed to: a standing ovation.
Day said James reached out and was apologetic. The classy Australian shrugged, noting that James was “just doing his job.’’
Day knows not everything goes as planned and points to last year’s Farmers.
“I’ve hit a lot of people out there,’’ he said of wayward drives. “On the 15th (hole) on the South, I hit a 10-year-old and he was bleeding pretty bad. I can’t believe the ball missed all the adults standing around him and hit the 10-year-old. I was shaking from it.’’
Day steadied his nerves, won the Farmers and started a run, which made others envious. He won four of his last six events, which catapulted him to No. 1.
“Winning here the way I did (in a four-man playoff), it was amazing,’’ Day said. “It settled things down for me and the second half of the year I went nuts.’’
Crazy in a good way, as Day’s triumphs included his first major at the PGA Championship.
He prevailed at Whistling Straits, after coming so close in tying for fourth at the British Open. He left a crucial putt short on the final hole, but with the disappointment came confidence.
“I was just very calm after that and I knew I was going to win the next one,’’ he said. “I was ready and everything just clicked.’’
It all started when he hoisted the Farmers trophy of the Torrey Pines. Now if only Lucy, his second child born in November, was as easy to lift.
“She hates for me to hold her,’’ Day said.
Day, 28, hopes he has a handle on vertigo. He’s battled its symptoms last year, at one point collapsing at the U.S. Open.
“It has to do with having too much stress,’’ he said. “Unfortunately, I’m in a game where there is stress.’’
But with medication and by monitoring his energy level, Day said it’s under control.
Not so, a hustling James.
“That’s what happens when you sit courtside at an NBA game,’’ Day said. “You run the risk of getting run over.’’
Those competing against Day recognize the feeling.
Contact Jay Paris at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports.
Sportswriter Jay Paris has written his “Sports Talk” column since joining the Coast News in 2013.
Paris, a Cardiff resident, is a longtime Southern California writer, getting his start with the Orange County Register before coming to San Diego in 1992 to cover the Chargers.
He had the Chargers beat for more than two decades with Oceanside Blade-Citizen, the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, before being named a sports columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Paris has won numerous awards voted on by his peers in the Pro Football Writers of America. He has also been a staple on countless media platforms, everything from the KPBS to MLB Network and various radio outlets.
Paris is also the author of three books, with his latest one being, “Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story Of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar.” He has also written “Game Of My Life Chargers” and “Game Of My Life Rams.”
He currently covers the NFL in Los Angeles for Forbes. com and is a contributor to USA Today Sports Weekly.