AUGUSTA, United States (AFP) – Third-ranked Jason Day, overjoyed at his mother’s progress after lung cancer surgery 10 days ago, yearns to win the Masters this week with her watching at Augusta National.
The 28-year-old Australian, who won his first major title at the 2015 PGA Championship, withdrew from the World Golf Championships Match-Play event two weeks ago to be with his Filipino mother, Dening, who is from Leyte, as she faced a five-hour left lung operation in Columbus, Ohio.
“Mom told me go out and just play. Unfortunately I can’t think like that,’’ Day said. “I felt selfish being out there. I wanted to be with my mom making sure the surgery goes well. I felt between two places. It was a roller coaster of emotions. I was torn… I just knew I had to be back home.’’
Day learned Monday that she would not need chemotherapy and that the woman who bolstered his golf dreams can watch him this weekend at the Masters for the first time, a perfect scenario to win the green jacket he has long sought.
“I was very emotional when I won my first major. You can just multiple that by 100,’’ Day said about what winning Sunday would mean.
“It would be great to have my mom here. She’s never had the opportunity to come over here before. It gets me excited to think about it, about the possibility of winning it.’’
Day’s father, Alvin, died of stomach cancer when his son was only 12. Dening took out a mortgage on the family home to finance Jason’s tuition at a golf academy, her son inspired by seeing Tiger Woods win the 1997 Masters in record-setting fashion.