Jason Day could get through just six holes of his opening round of the WGC-Dell Technologies on Wednesday.
The Australian could face no more after that, and promptly withdrew from the match by walking off of the course.
Day explained his withdrawal soon after in order to clear up any doubt or speculation, and bravely talking through the tears, the 2015 PGA Championship winner opened up on his mother’s battle with lung cancer, for which she is due to undergo surgery later this week.
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The world number three, who came into this tournament as defending champion, said before leaving the Austin Country Club:
“It’s really hard to even comprehend being on the golf course right now.
“It’s been really hard to play golf lately. 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.
“I know my mom said to not let it get to me, but it reallyhas. I just need some time away with her to make sure it goes well. It’s been very tough for me. I’m going to do my best and try to be there the best I can for her, because she’s the reason why I’m playing golf today. Family’s first, it’s just hard times.”
The 29-year-old lost his father to stomach cancer when he was just 12 years old. The defending champion’s further participation in the event is now unclear as his involvement in the upcoming Masters Tournament.