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Jason Day feeling ‘lighter’ as Masters approaches

April 5, 2017 GMT

AUGUSTA — Jason Day was due for some good news.

After an emotional stretch during which his mother had surgery to treat her lung cancer and he withdrew from the WGC Match Play to be there for the procedure, the good news arrived.

The surgery was a success, and chemotherapy isn’t necessary. Now, with the opening round of the Masters approaching, Day is feeling refreshed in a way and free to shift his focus back to golf.

“I’m very, very pleased and very, very happy with how things have progressed from the start of the year to now,” said Day, the third-ranked golfer in the world, during his Tuesday press conference. “And I feel kind of a lot lighter in a sense that my mind is not weighing very much heavily on the situation that my mom was going through. So to be able to have that happen and then be able to come here and get my mind off things, is quite nice.”

Thursday will mark Day’s seventh Masters start, and he’s come painfully close to victory in the past with a tie for second in 2011 and a third-place finish in 2013. Close calls on the biggest stages tormented Day until his breakthrough, record-breaking win at the 2015 PGA Championship. That one was emotional because it came after so much major anguish. A win this week, given all that he’s been through?

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“I think that you can just multiply that by a hundred, I think. ... You know this, is a tournament – two things in my life, Tiger Woods and Augusta National, the Masters, is why I play golf. And this is my favorite week of the year. It always is. To be able to do it this week would be great.”

Day said that it wasn’t so much tension in his swing or anything physical that was bothering him at the Match Play – it was a wandering mind, one that was thinking of things other than the target or hitting the shot.

Now, knowing that his mother is doing OK – she’s already ready to go home and get back to work – Day is comfortable with his decision to fly down and play this week.

“And once again, this week, I just feel a lot lighter,” he said. ”... All the hard stuff is behind us and we’ve just got to make sure that we’re staying on top of it, and that I can actually get back to kind of physically just kind of focusing on golf even though I know my mom is getting well taken care of now and kind of the hard part is behind us now.”