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Jason Day - his focus now on the task at hand

Day practising today with British Amateur Champion Scott Gregory (Photo: Getty Images)
Jason Day has one of the best records of a non-winner of the event at The Masters having finished runner-up on debut in 2011, 3rd behind Adam Scott in 2013 and 10th last year in addition to made cuts in the other two Masters he has completed (he was forced to withdraw in 2012).

The 29 year old clearly has a comfort zone for the Augusta National layout and the game and skills to capitalise on a golf course that fits his eye and gets his competitive juices flowing perhaps more than any other.

This year, Day gets to play his 7th Masters and despite recent family concerns revolving around a health scare for his mother Dening he will tee it up and today spoke to the media about the various issues he had been facing and the current status of his game.

First, Day was asked by the facilitator to outline how things were with his Mum.  

“My Mum went through successful surgery on her left lung and just got the news yesterday from the Doc that she does not have to do chemo which is really, really exciting stuff.

"I am very pleased, very happy how things have progressed from the start of the year until now and I feel a lot lighter in the sense that my mind is not weighing heavily on the situation that my Mum was going through.  

“So to be able to have that happen and to be able to come here and get my mind off things is quite nice.”

Day took a few moments to thank the tremendous level of support he had received from the media, sponsors, both past and present, and fans.

“The amount of text messages and emails I got and my agent got really meant a lot and I apologise for not being able to get back but I was obviously going through an emotional time.”

Day would love to have Dening at Augusta National and it is still in his mind to fly her down from Ohio where she is recovering from the surgery but he is realistic about that prospect.

“It depends and we need to talk to the doctors. She can’t walk very far. She is doing very well but part of her lung was cut out and I don’t know if that is good for flying. I don’t want the bloody thing to burst (laughter).

“I think ultimately I still would have played (if the surgery outcome was not quite so positive) but if the results from the surgery had come back with a bad kind of result pretty then I would have been thinking elsewhere but now that it has passed and I am thinking about playing golf.

“Once they she had come out of surgery and they were talking about the chemo or otherwise then I decided to come down here and see how it goes and head back if I needed to.

“It is hard to miss a week like this even though there was a lot going on and I needed to make sure that my Mum was ok but once I knew the surgery had gone well I was ok with flying down here."   

So now that he will play how is his game at this point and how prepared is he for what lies ahead this week?

“I’m a little bit underprepared to be honest. Usually I have two more weeks of tournament under my belt and another week or two of practice and I haven’t picked up a club from the Match Play (where he withdrew) until I got here on Friday because I have been busy with my Mum and my family and not really thinking about playing golf.

“Maybe that’s a good thing I don’t know but I am going to do the best job I can with what I have got. Obviously my priority and my main focus was my mother and now that has evolved and been taken care of I can focus more on the golf side of things and do the best job I can.”

“The swing feels a lot better. It is amazing that feeling a lot happier and enjoying myself a lot more the swing feels better, I feel like I am hitting it a lot better and the short game – I feel like I have a lot more touch in my hands.

“The shift is now from the off course back to the on course and my focus has done that and I am starting to get all my touch and feel back.”

So what would winning the Masters mean to Jason Day? He was asked how a win here might compare with his win at the PGA Championship two years ago.

“I think you can just multiply that by a 100. I was very emotional when I won my first major because I knew how hard it was. Under the circumstances beating Jordan who was ‘the guy’ at the time. This though is a tournament – well there are two things in my life - Tiger Woods and Augusta National / The Masters is why I play golf.

“This is my favourite week of the year it always is and to be able to do it would be great especially with all the emotions that happened beforehand. Just thinking of winning gets me excited and in doing so accomplishing one of my life goals.”

“With that said I can’t get too far ahead of myself and Sunday is a very long way away.”     

A victory by Day would be emotional for a range of reasons but he can rest happy in the knowledge that he has taken care of his mother to the best of his ability now it is a case of taking care of his quest to win his most coveted golf tournament to that same same ability.

Either way he can be very proud of how he has handled a very difficult set of circumstances.     

2017 MASTERS CONTENDERS

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