(Reuters) - An emotional Jason Day abruptly pulled out of his opening match at the WGC-Dell Match Play on Wednesday to be with his mother, who has been diagnosed with lung cancer and is having surgery on Friday.
“Hard to comprehend being on the golf course right now, with what she’s going through,” said a tearful Day, who struggled to maintain his composure as he met with reporters after conceding his match at the Austin Country Club.
Day, who was three down to Pat Perez after six holes when he conceded, did not say how long he would be away from the game or whether he would be at the April 6-9 Masters.
“As of now, I am going to be back with my mom,” said Day, who had tears streaming down his face. “It’s been a very, very hard time for me to be even thinking about playing golf.”
Day, 29, said his mother, Adenil “Dening” Day, was given 12 months to live at the start of the year after being diagnosed in Australia. She is in the United States for treatment, and the golfer said the prognosis appears to be better.
Day lost his father, Alvyn, to cancer when he was just 12 years old.
”I’ve already gone through it once with my dad,“ the Australian said. ”And 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 mom for surgery and make sure everything goes right with her.”
Day, who has struggled on the course this year with one top 10 in six events as he slipped two spots to world number three, began his news conference by saying his balky back was all right and that he was 100 percent physically before choking with emotion as he explained about his mother.
He gave no timetable for his return to competition.
“Emotionally, it’s been weighing on me,” said Day. “My mom says not to let it get to me, but it really has so I just need some time away to make sure everything goes well.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, Editing by Larry Fine