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US PGA Championship Emotional Jason Day savours the moment

Australian Jason Day said the emotion of snaring an elusive major title, and the culmination of his hard journey, saw him reduced to tears.

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Emotional Jason Day savours the moment play

Emotional Jason Day savours the moment

(Omni Sports)

Jason Day said the tears he shed on 18 - and at the awards ceremony - surprised him, as he celebrated his maiden major win at the US PGA Championship.

Day led throughout Sunday's play at Whistling Straits, eventually prevailing by three strokes from home favourite Jordan Spieth.

After leaving a tap-in putt for par on the 18th at the Sheboygan, Wisconsin course, Day was visibly emotional - the build-up of so many near misses at major tournaments, according to the Australian.

"I didn't expect to cry," Day said, while accepting the Wanamaker Trophy.

"But a lot of emotion came out because I've been close so many times. To be able to play the way I did and finish the way I did really felt amazing.

"I could tell Jordan was the [crowd] favourite, but I got a lot of support as well, and I couldn't have asked for anything better this week."

Day had nine previous top-10 major finishes before finally breaking through.

Later, Day told a news conference that walking down the stretch with caddie and long-time mentor Colin Swatton was a bittersweet moment - remembering his father Alvin, who died from stomach cancer when Day was 12 years old.

"The path that I was on was never expected for me to be here where I was today," he said.

"I lose my dad at 12, and then meet Colin and have him walk the journey with me and have him walk up the 18th hole with me was just a special, special thing, that I could never forget, special experience that I could never forget.

"It's just an amazing feeling I have."

Day said keeping a short-sighted focus was one of his toughest battles, given his lead wavered between two and four shots for much of the final round.

"There were plenty of times when I got out of it, more so just thinking about the future, especially on the back side there were a few times where I had to pull myself back in and say, 'It's not over, you've got to keep grinding, keep fighting,'" the Queenslander said.

"And once I did that I kind of pulled myself back and started hitting the quality shots that I needed to.

"Just to be able to finish with a birdie on 16 and two pars on 17 and 18 felt fantastic."

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