Friday 18 August 2017

Jason Day in 'much better place' after mother undergoes surgery in cancer battle

Jason Day of Australia addresses the media during a press conference after withdrawing due to an illness in the family from round one of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Jason Day of Australia addresses the media during a press conference after withdrawing due to an illness in the family from round one of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)

Phil Casey

Former world number one Jason Day said he is in "a much better place" after his mother underwent surgery in her battle against lung cancer.

Day broke down in tears after withdrawing from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play a fortnight ago, the defending champion having played just six holes of his opening match against Pat Perez.

The 29-year-old Australian told a hastily-arranged press conference that he had found it impossible to focus on golf and had pulled out of the £7.8million event to be with his mother Dening, who underwent an operation two days later to remove a ''three-to-four-centimetre'' mass in her lungs.

Speaking at Augusta National on Monday ahead of this week's Masters, Day told the Golf Channel: "There's been a lot of things go on this year that have been somewhat distracting to my golf.

"Golf was the last thing that I was ever thinking about when this first came about. I'm in a much better place now. I feel happier to be on the golf course and enjoying myself out here a lot more than I was the last month or two."

Day played nine holes on Monday morning alongside 1988 Masters champion Sandy Lyle and Japan's Yuta Ikeda, before the course was closed at midday due to an approaching storm.

"It's feeling a lot better," the world number three said of his game. "My mind was so far away from golf that I was hitting shots out there on the golf course and I'm like, 'What am I doing'?

"It would be a wedge from 140 yards but I'd be 20 yards out. My mind was totally off. I'm coming into this week focused a lot better."

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