Day set to return for the Masters
With his mother's prognosis improving, the former No. 1 will tee it up at Augusta
April 02, 2017
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- Jason Day withdrew from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in his last TOUR start. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, Georgia – Jason Day will tee it up at the Masters happy once more, albeit with lessened expectations following his mother’s cancer ordeal.
The 10-time PGA TOUR winner shocked the golf community when he withdrew from the World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play after revealing his mother Dening was fighting lung cancer.
Faced with an initial terminal diagnosis from doctors in his native Australia Day had his mother flown to the USA where further testing revealed hope of recovery.
Dening subsequently had a 3.5 centimeter mass removed from her lungs and is now awaiting test results to see if further chemotherapy treatment is necessary.
Having tried to fight through the issue privately for months thanks to his mother’s wishes Day finally broke down in Austin.
Golf was not important. Mum was. And his return to competitive golf was up in the air.
But now, with his mother resting comfortably in Ohio, and with a more positive outlook, Day is smiling in the Augusta pines.
“For the first time in about a month and a half I was happy to be on the golf course. I was enjoying myself again,” Day said of his Saturday practice session at Augusta National.
“It’s been really, really hard to enjoy myself. But I think things are starting to brighten up. So it would be nice to get back on track here.”
In the past Day has been very gung-ho in his want to win here. The desire is still there, but he’s trying to stay grounded given his time off from practice.
“I think the biggest thing for me is I have to come in here with less expectation on myself. I usually say I’m going to go out there and try and win but obviously, with what happened with my mum, golf and here was the furthest thing from my mind,” he added.
“I was in a bad situation with my mum, but I’m here and that’s what I’ve got to be thankful for. I’ve got to be thankful to have a tournament I absolutely love that’s making me very happy to be on the golf course again.
“I’m not counting myself out but I think I just want to come in here with a different attitude because of what’s happened.”
Day tied for second on debut in the 2011 Masters and was third in 2013 when countryman Adam Scott became the first Australian to win a Green Jacket. Day had held a two-shot lead standing on the 16th tee that Sunday before back-to-back bogeys derailed his quest.
In a practice round Sunday he was hitting the ball crisply and putting in extensive work on his short game around the greens. He looked every bit a potential winner but was certainly happy to try to go under the radar a little.
“I haven’t had the prep that I needed or usually have. But I’ll do the best job I can preparing from here,” Day added.
“I’m hitting it well so far so hopefully that can continue and get even tighter by Thursday.”