A distressed Jason Day has withdrawn from a golf tournament in Texas only six holes into the first round, and later explained that he was unable to contain the emotions surrounding his mother’s battle with lung cancer.
The current world number three, who struggled to contain his emotions after stepping off the course, told reporters he could not continue competing at World Golf Championships-Match Play and would leave to be with his mother, Dening, who will have surgery later this week.
Day has already suffered one cancer-related tragedy in his life. When he was just 12 years old his father died of stomach cancer and he said it had been hard to play golf this year with his mother’s illness weighing on him. He is expected to take a break from the sport.
Day stopped play after a double bogey to fall three down against Pat Perez after six holes, but still managed to front a press conference to explain the emotional decision.
“At the start of the year, she was diagnosed with 12 months to live,” he said, revealing she had a 3-4 centimetre mass on her lung.
“This is so hard,” he said through tears, revealing that he had flown his mother to the United States for treatment.
“It’s really hard to even comprehend being on the golf course right now, because of what she has gone through.
“I’m glad I brought her over here because of it.”
The 29-year-old, who has two children of his own with wife Ellie, said family came before golf.
“I’m going to do my best and try and be there the best I can for her because she is the reason I’m playing golf today,” he said.
Dening raised Jason and his older sister, Kim, as a single mother.
“Family’s first and it’s just a hard time.”
“I’ve already gone through it once with my dad and I know how it feels. And it’s hard enough to see another one go through it as well,” he said.
“As of now I’m going to try and be back with my mum for surgery and make sure everything goes right with her.
“It’s been a very, very hard time for me to be even thinking about playing golf. Emotionally, it’s been weighing on me for a while and I know my mum says not to let it get to me but it really has.”
with AAP, ABC