Day seals emotional World Cup win for Australia

Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:41am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia's Jason Day fended off Danish challenger Thomas Bjorn and rode an emotional wave of crowd support to win the World Cup of Golf by two strokes at Royal Melbourne on Sunday.

World number 18 Day, mourning the loss of eight relatives killed in the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan, broke clear of the tenacious Bjorn on the par-four 16th with a nerveless clutch putt for par before holding firm in the final holes.

After tapping in the winning putt on the 18th, the 26-year-old raised his arms aloft in triumph and embraced his grieving mother by the green as a huge gallery of home fans roared their approval.

"For her to be out here over the weekend, and even to have my sisters and my nephew to be here as a family, knowing that I can hold them is very special to me," Day told reporters after winning his second PGA Tour title on another breezy, sunny day at the famed sandbelt course.

"The biggest thing right now is to know that I just didn't give up. It would have been the easiest thing for me to just go ahead and pull out of the tournament with what has been going on over the last week -- just to be up there with my mum and support her.

"But I really wanted to come down here and play with Adam (Scott) and really try to win the World Cup and we achieved that which was great."

Day's one-under round of 70 left him with a 10-under total of 274 in the $8 million biennial tournament where players have competed for individual honors after previously being solely a team event.

Collecting a $1.2 million winner's cheque, Day will also share $600,000 with world number two and compatriot Scott after the pair combined to drive their home nation to a runaway 10-stroke win over the United States in the team component.   Continued...

Australia's Jason Day plays his approach shot to the 18th green on his way to winning the World Cup of Golf at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne November 24, 2013. REUTERS/Brandon Malone