Jason Day conceded his match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play to Pat Perez on Wednesday after six holes, explaining afterward that he is unable to concentrate on playing golf as his mother, Dening, is battling lung cancer.
"My mom has been here for a while, and she has lung cancer," a tearful Day said after pulling out of his match. He added, "It's really hard to even comprehend being on the golf course because of what she's going through."
The 2015 PGA champion said his mother had been given 12 months to live when an Australian doctor diagnosed her with the condition. Day, whose father Alvin passed away from stomach cancer when he was 12 years old, brought her to the United States with the hopes of a better second opinion and more options to aggressively treat her condition. She has a Friday procedure scheduled to remove what Day describes as a 3-4 cm mass in her lung.
"I'm glad I brought her over her," Day said. "It's been very hard to play golf this year. 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."
Day is choosing to head home to spend time with her.
"As of now, I'm going to try to get back there with my mom for her surgery and make sure everything goes right with her," he said.
Despite the protestations of his mom, Day admits he cannot fathom spending time on his game.
"Emotionally, it's been wearing on me for a while. And I know my mom 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," he said, adding, "She is the reason that I'm playing golf today. Family's first, and it's just a hard time."
Day remains hopeful that the Friday procedure can help his mother's condition.
"I'm just hoping for a speedy recovery for her, and we can get this behind, and hopefully she can live a long, long life."