Jason Day will take an indefinite break from golf in order to be with his mother as she prepares to have cancer surgery, the world number three has confirmed. The Australian withdrew six holes into the defence of his WGC Match Play title in Texas against Pat Perez before breaking down in tears after explaining the reason for forfeiting the match.
Perez was three-up when Day decided against playing any further part in the event, which comes just over a fortnight before the Masters at Augusta. The 29-year-old has not won an event this year but has shown no sign of his game unravelling, having finished inside the top 23 three times in five events.
But after curtailed his campaign at the Austin Country Club, Day opted to speak to the media straight away where he detailed his decision. His mum Dening will have surgery on her lung on Friday [24 March] in the United States, after being given just a 12-month prognosis.
"My mum's been here [the United States] for a while and she has lung cancer," he told the assembled press. "At the start of the year she was diagnosed with 12 months to live. The diagnosis is much better being over here, she's going into surgery this Friday and it's really hard to even comprehend being on a golf course right now because of what's she going through.
"She had all the tests done in Australia and the docs said she was terminal and she only had 12 months to live, and I'm glad I brought her over here because of it. I've already gone through it once with my dad and I know how it feels, and it's hard enough to see another one go through it as well. As of now I'm going to try and be back there with my mum for surgery and make sure everything goes right with her.
"It's been a very, very hard time for me to even think about playing golf. Emotionally it's been wearing on me for a while and 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."
Aged just 12, the 2015 USPGA Champion lost his father Alvyn to stomach cancer and was raised by his mum and sisters Yanna and Kim. Day's mother would soon become the greatest presence in his life, having previously protected him from the domestic abuse inflicted upon him by his dad during his early golf career.
"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," he added. "It's been a hard time. I didn't want to leave you out and speculate what was going on with me game and how I felt. I just wanted to make sure that I got it out there.
"This is the reason why I've obviously pulled out this week because of my mum going into surgery to try and get rid of this 3-4cm mass that's in her lungs. I'm just hoping for a speedy recovery for her and we can get this behind us and she can live a long life."