Fit-again Day can reclaim top spot: Newton

Jason Day can return to the top of the world rankings if he regains full fitness next year but Dustin Johnson won't easily be unseated, according to Australian golf icon Jack Newton.

Former world No.1 Day had a year to forget, finishing winless for the first time since 2012 and dropping to 12th in the rankings.

The Queenslander's year has been interrupted by injury, illness and personal issues, with his form typified by his capitulation at last month's Australian Open when he took a one-shot lead into the final round but hit two-over to finish fifth.

Newton, a two-time major runner-up in the 1970s and 80s and famous for his efforts training juniors, said Day's issues were not technical.

"He hasn't played enough golf. He's had all kinds of things going on with his body," he told AAP at the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic.

Newton said Day at his best was superior to world No.2 Jordan Spieth but acknowledged American Johnson deservingly held the top spot.

"I think he (Day) can get back to No.1. I think he's got Spieth covered. In the PGA (Championship 2015) that he won, he was hitting it 30 yards past Spieth.

"Day's a good putter, he's a long hitter. He can hit a lot of really good shots. He's quite capable of getting back to No.1, although I think Dustin Johnson's going to be a hard man to roll.

"Dustin Johnson, when he wants to let one go, he hits it 370 (yards). When he wants to just get in one the fairway, it goes 340. He never had a good short game, but he's got a good short game now."

Newton also believes sliding Australian major winner Adam Scott's best days aren't past him and that world No.13 Marc Leishman may soon crack the top six.

"It's eminently possible he (Leishman) can get into the top five or six players," Newton said.

"He's getting better all the time. He's got a very smooth action, a pretty cool customer."

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