Former world number one Jason Day says he will be “forever indebted” to his mother, Dening, after she passed away following a long battle with cancer.
Day was a late withdrawal from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he won in 2016, in Florida after rushing to be with her at his home in Ohio where she was living with him.
The Queenslander posted a tribute that said he was “heartbroken” at losing his mother, who raised Day and his sisters after their father passed away when he was 12.
“Last night, my mum peacefully left us after battling cancer for five years. We are heartbroken but incredibly grateful for the gift we had in her living with us for the last almost two years full time,” Day posted on Instagram.
“She fought so hard until the very last breath. I am forever indebted to her for the sacrifices she made for me to be successful, and for the person she helped me to become. We will miss her so much.”
Adenil “Dening” Day, who was 65, had been living with Day, his wife Ellie and their four children Dash, Lucy, Arrow and Oz after the golfing star convinced her to stop working in Brisbane and move to the US having been first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017.
Day has long credited his mum for helping him avoid wasting his undeniable golfing talents.
After his feather’s death, and with a young Day spiralling out of control, his borrowed money from his uncle and sold their house to get him into a Queensland boarding school with a golf program.
Day met his long-time coach and caddie Colin Swatton and the two began a journey that would ultimately land on the PGA Tour and the world number one ranking in 2015, a year in which he also won his only major, the 2015 US PGA Championship.
Currently ranked 92nd in the world, Day’s scratching from this week’s Arnold Palmer International in Florida is another setback to his chances of making next month’s Masters field.
He needs to return to the top 50 by month‘s end and will likely need to win next week’s Players’ Championship to secure a spot at Augusta in April.
Fellow Aussie Adam Scott fired a four-under opening round of 68 to sit three shots behind the leader, Rory McIlroy.