Golf

Day ready for Augusta with mother 'in good hands'

Australia's Jason Day completed a long weekend of practice at Augusta National yesterday morning (Singapore time), hopeful his mother's condition in her cancer fight will allow him to play in the US Masters.

The world No. 3 toured the famed layout for a third consecutive day ahead of this morning's first official practice session for what he hopes will be his seventh Masters start come Friday morning.

Day withdrew during the first round of the World Golf Championships Match Play event two weeks ago in Austin, Texas, and put his golf on hold to be with his mother, Dening, after her lung cancer surgery on March 24.

She was treated at Ohio State University's cancer hospital and is resting in Columbus, Ohio, where Day and his family live.

PEACE OF MIND

"She's in good hands," Day said in comments to the Masters website, saying that gave him the peace of mind and confidence to return to golfing.

While his workouts among the Georgia pine trees are a good sign he will play this week in the year's first Major championship, he said that nothing is certain given his mother is undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

"Obviously we still have to wait and see, but we feel much better about things," he said.

Day's time on the course has included work with swing coach Colin Swatton and playing a few holes with compatriot Curtis Luck, the reigning US amateur champion who makes his Masters debut.

Former world No. 1 Day, who won his first Major title at the 2015 US PGA Championship, shared second place at Augusta in 2011, when he led much of the day but lost to four consecutive closing birdies by South Africa's Charl Schwartzel.

He finished third in 2013, when he led by a shot before bogeys at 16th and 17th and a birdie miss at 18th ended his Green Jacket bid, as compatriot Adam Scott became the first Aussie to win the Masters.

"It's okay because I would like to be the second player to win from Australia," said Day.

Day has special reverence for Augusta National, saying: "It's kind of like golfing heaven for us. It's a spiritual place... It's kind of surreal in a way." - AFP

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