GRIEVING Jason Day is receiving heartfelt support from international rivals as he and Adam Scott prepare to represent Australia in golf's World Cup.
Day lost his grandmother, an uncle and six cousins as Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines.
Danish world No.44 Thomas Bjorn, whose team is among the better-credentialled in the 60-man field, said while they harboured their own winning hopes at Royal Melbourne, he felt for Day and hoped he did well when the tournament starts on Thursday.
"You can only hope he has the strength to go through what he's going through," Bjorn told reporters on Tuesday.
"To go and play golf, that shows a lot about Jason as a character.
"It's horrific ... it obviously hits closer when it's somebody that you know and somebody around this game that's affected by it.
"I feel for Jason, I think everybody would love to see him do well."
American Kevin Streelman, whose teammate world No.7 Matt Kuchar won the most recent World Cup, with Gary Woodland in 2011, also wished Day well.
"He's a good kid," Streelman said.
"He's got a good wife and a good mum and they'll push through it together and we'll send a lot of prayers their way."
Kuchar was runner-up to Scott in the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne on Sunday.
The US team are second favourites behind the Australians.
But Streelman, who has never previously played in Australia or represented the US, acknowledged world No.2 Scott and No.18 Day deserved top billing.
"Obviously the Australians are the No.1 world-ranked team," he said.
"Jason's an incredible talent and they're on top of their game so they'll be very difficult."
Bjorn said he and teammate Thorbjorn Olesen gave themselves a chance but also nominated Australia as clear favourites.
"With Jason Day and Adam, he's in unbelievable form, and you've got to play some really good stuff ... we know what we're up against," Bjorn said.
Italy, with Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero, and Ireland, with Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry, are among the top contenders.
This year, for the first time in the history of an event which started in 1953, the tournament is an individual as well as team competition.
Of the $8 million prizemoney, $7 million is allocated to the individual component and $1 million to the teams.
There are 26 teams, whose score is simply the total of their two representatives over the four rounds of strokeplay.
Eight other players, including Fiji's former world No.1 Vijay Singh, are competing only as individuals.
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