World number three Jason Day is to return to competitive action in a more upbeat mood at this week’s Masters in Augusta.
Day’s involvement in the competition has been in doubt recently as the Australian had been concentrating on his mother’s lung cancer battle, withdrawing from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after only six holes last month.
However, Day’s mother Dening has since received a more positive prognosis in her battle following surgery, which in turn has allowed Day himself to approach the Masters in a more focused manner, having found it hard to focus n the sport this year with the major turmoil in his personal life.
Speaking to reporters on Monday ahead of the beginning of the competition this week, Day was, fortunately, able to give a positive update on his mother’s condition:
“She’s good, she had the left quarter of her lung taken out on the left side, and I was with her pretty much every day back home. She’s in a fair amount of pain but hopefully, things are looking up.
“She always wants me to play, that’s all she wants.
“Golf was the last thing that I was ever thinking about when this first came about, but I’m in a much better place now. Being able to be here this year is a special week, not only for me being here but have my mom in safe hands.”
Quotes via Sky Sports
Day had said earlier this week that last weekend’s practice session was the happiest he has been on a golf course for some time, and while he was hoping to be competitive in Augusta, he was also keeping his expectations in check:
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Quotes via PGATour.com
The Masters begins this Thursday, and by most bookmakers estimates despite Day’s turbulent preparation, he is still tipped in and around the top of the leaderboard, along with the likes of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and favourite Dustin Johnson.