Emotional Jason Day withdraws in Austin as his mother undergoes surgery

‘It’s been really hard to play golf lately. It’s been very, very emotional, as you can tell’

Jason Day of Australia addresses the media after withdrawing from the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at the Austin Country Club. Photograph: Getty Images

Jason Day of Australia addresses the media after withdrawing from the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at the Austin Country Club. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Jason Day broke down in tears when facing the media at the WGC Match Play on Wednesday, having explained his mother is seeking to defy a terminal lung cancer diagnosis.

Day withdrew from the tournament after six holes of his match with Pat Perez before revealing his mother, Dening, will undergo crucial surgery in the United States on Friday.

There had been no earlier hint whatsoever of Day’s situation, meaning his concession to Perez was automatically and immediately linked to previous injury troubles. The Australian entered the media centre to give context, amid which he could not contain his upset.

“My mum has been here for a while and she has lung cancer,” Day said. “At the start of the year she was diagnosed with 12 months to live. The diagnosis is much better being over here (in the USA).

“She’s going in for surgery this Friday and it’s really hard to even comprehend being on the golf course right now because of what she’s gone through. She had a test done in Australia and the doc said she was terminal and only had 12 months to live. I’m glad I brought her over here.

“It’s been really hard to play golf lately. It’s been very, very emotional, as you can tell. I’ve already gone through it once with my dad. I know how it feels. And it’s hard enough to see another one go through it, as well.

“So as of now I’m going to try to be back there with my mum for surgery and make sure everything goes right with her.

“Once again it’s been a very, very hard time for me to even be thinking about playing golf. Emotionally it’s been wearing on me for a while. My mum says not to let it get to me but it really has.”

At the age of just 12, Day lost his father to stomach cancer. He was raised solely by his mother thereafter, who sent Day to boarding school both to deal with increasingly troublesome behaviour and to channel his obvious golf talent.

The world No3 added: “I just need some time away with her to make sure that everything goes well because this has been very, very tough for me. So I’m going to do my best and try and be there the best I can for her because she is the reason that I’m playing golf today.

“I didn’t want to leave you guys out in the dust and try and speculate what was going on with me and my game and how I felt, if it was my back or anything. I just wanted to make sure and get it out there that this is the reason why I’ve obviously pulled out this week because of my mum going for surgery to try and get rid of this mass that’s in her lungs, which is a three or four-centimetre mass, a pretty large mass in her lungs.

“I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for her, we can get this behind us and she can live a long, long life.”

Guardian services

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