Jason Day has revealed his mother does not need chemotherapy for lung cancer, just days out from the start of the US Masters at Augusta National.
The world No.3 was grinning from ear-to-ear at a press conference at August on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST), as he confirmed mum Dening’s surgery to remove a 3.5cm tumour in her lungs last month was successful and she has avoided chemotherapy treatment.
“The news is really, really exciting. (Cancer) is a very painful thing to watch a loved one go through, but we’re very pleased to be able to get through this stage and hopefully she can live a very long life,” Day said.
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The Beaudesert golfer admitted the stress of his mother’s illness was weighing heavy on his mind over the last few months, contributing to his drop in the world rankings from No.1 to No.3.
However, the 29-year-old said he’s now feeling better than ever.
“I feel like (the news) takes a lot of pressure and a huge weight off my shoulders. The swing feels amazing, so does the short game, and I feel like I have more touch in my hands,” he said.
“I’m refreshed; I can actually get back to focusing on golf.”
Meanwhile, it will be an interesting opening round for Day, as he tees up alongside one of the most vocal critics of his alleged slow play.
He has been paired with American Brand Snedeker, who spoke out against Day’s desire to be more deliberate on each shot in 2017.
England’s Olympic gold medallist Justin Rose will also be in his group.
In January, Day revealed his approach to tournaments in 2017 would be to “get back to what makes me good. If that means I have to back off five times, I’m going to.”
The move didn’t seem to impress Snedeker.
“If I were to get paired with Jason on the weekend of a major championship … and we get put on the clock and I need a minute on a shot late on Sunday afternoon, am I allowed to have that time because Jason has played slow all day?” Snedeker said.
“That creates a problem with me. I don’t feel that creates a level playing field, and it’s not being respectful to your fellow tour pros.”
Gold Coast local Adam Scott has been drawn with American Kevin Kisner and Englishman Andy Sullivan.
Fellow Australian Marc Leishman will play with world No.7 Justin Thomas and fellow American Bill Haas.
While WA amateur Curtis Luck will go around the course with defending champion Danny Willett and veteran Matt Kuchar.
In the big-name pairings, world No.1 Dustin Johnson has been grouped with two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker.
Rory McIlroy will play with Japan’s Hideto Tanihara and Spain’s Jon Rahm, while Jordan Spieth will partner Martin Kaymer and Matthew Fitzpatrick.