Family first for Day

Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Defending champion Jason Day has withdrawn from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play to be with his mother, who is suffering from lung cancer.

Day played six holes of his first round match with Pat Perez but was unable to continue as emotions got the better of him. His mother, Dening, is due to undergo surgery on Friday in Ohio and Day will fly there to be with her.

“At the start of the year she was diagnosed with 12 months to live – this is so hard. The diagnosis is much better being over here. She’s going in for surgery this Friday and it’s really hard to even comprehend being on the golf course right now because of what she’s gone through,” said Day in an emotional press conference.

“It’s been really hard to play golf lately in this year. It’s been very, very emotional, as you can tell. I’ve already gone through it once with my dad and I know how it feels,” added the Australian, who lost his father to cancer at age 12.

“I know my mum says not to let it get to me but it really has. So I just need some time away with her to make sure that everything goes well because this has been very, very tough for me. I’m going to do my best and try and be there the best I can for her because she is the reason that I’m playing golf today. And family is first and it’s just a hard time.”

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