Day shares World Cup joy with grieving family

Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:27am EST
 
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Jason Day plans a few celebratory drinks after winning the $8 million World Cup of Golf on home soil on Sunday before turning his efforts to raising awareness for the devastated Philippines where eight of his relatives were killed by Typhoon Haiyan.

The grieving 26-year-old competed with a heavy heart at Royal Melbourne but played some of the finest golf of his life to seal the individual trophy by two strokes and drive Australia to a runaway victory in the team component.

Day's triumph was watched by his Filipino-born mother Dening, whose own mother was lost in the typhoon, and the pair shared an emotional embrace by the 18th green after the final par-putt rolled in front of a roaring gallery.

Prior to the tournament, Day said he had hoped his team mate, world number two Adam Scott, would carry him through, but he ended up shouldering the load after the U.S. Masters champion opened with a four-over 75 including a nightmare quintuple bogey on the 12th.

Locked in a two-way battle with seasoned Dane Thomas Bjorn in the back nine, Day drained a seven-foot putt for a crucial par on the 16th to take a one-stroke lead and held on to celebrate an emotional victory.

"It feels great, I just really don't know what to think right now," the world number 18 told reporters after notching just his second PGA Tour win, three years after his maiden title at the Byron Nelson Championship.

"Today I learnt a lot about myself ... I am definitely going to embrace being a World Cup winner tonight and I won't go too crazy but I will definitely have a drink or two and, you know, right now I am just the happiest guy."

Day won $1.2 million for sealing individual honors at the biennial tournament, and will share another $600,000 with Scott for winning the team trophy.   Continued...

 
Australia's Jason Day plays a tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the World Cup of Golf at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne November 24, 2013. REUTERS/Brandon Malone