Jason Day confirmed his Masters start today, again demonstrating his amazingly open personality as his mother fights cancer.
The Queenslander confirmed his mother Dening’s surgery to remove a growth in her lung at the Ohio State Medical Centre had gone as well as could be expected – and that she might even come to Augusta this weekend if she continued to progress well.
“She’s good, she had the left quarter of her lung taken out on the left side; I was with her pretty much every day back home,” Day told Golf Channel after a nine-hole practice round.
“She’s in a fair amount of pain but hopefully things are looking up.”
Dening had been given a terminal diagnosis in Australia late last year, but has since been in the United States with her son and extended family as they fought to find an alternative resolution.
Day, who has slipped from world No.1 to No.3 this year, had been widely perceived as battling form and fitness concerns.
But the 29-year-old, who emotionally withdrew midway through the first round of the WGC Match Play two weeks ago, admitted today at his favourite tournament that dealing with his mother’s plight had been far more taxing.
“I always want to be honest with you, the media and the fans,” Day said.
“I just felt like I was lying by not telling anyone and that’s not me.”
Day said Dening, the central figure in his life since his father died of cancer when he was 12, urged him to keep playing. “She always wants me to play, that’s all she wants,” he said.
But he said his focus hadn’t been on golf because he felt guilty he wasn’t with his mother and his normal motivators that lifted him to the rankings summit had been replaced by anxiety and uncertainty.
“I’ve felt lost,” he admitted.
“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.
“But I’m in a much better place now, being able to be here this year is a special week, not only for me being here, but to have my mum in safe hands.
“I’m human, just like everyone else. It was actually helpful that I could tell everyone and be honest. That’s just the way I am.”