After starting off 2018 by claiming victory with a birdie on the sixth extra hole, and defeating Alexander Norén and Ryan Palmer in a sudden-death playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open, Day had high hopes for the remainder of the season. But he was quickly distracted when he learned that his mother’s cancer had returned.
According to CNN, Adenil Day previously had a 3-4 cm cancerous mass in her left lung and was told she may only have 12 months to live. In March of 2017, she successfully had the mass removed, and her family was optimistic about her recovery. However, Day said her lung cancer came back in three different spots last year.
Adenil Day is currently undergoing oral chemotherapy and while things are looking positive, Day says his fingers are still crossed.
“I was disappointed in the last half of my season last year, but when priorities shift like that, it takes your mind away from competing,” he said in a press conference call on Jan. 7. “Obviously, golf is my job and I want to stay on top of it all the time, but I gave myself the choice to focus on my mom.
"I talked to my team constantly about what was going on and told them this was probably not going to be a great second half.”
Always positive, Day says he thinks 2019 is off to a good start. His mom is back on the road to recovery, his wife, Ellie Day, at home with their daughter, Lucy, and their newborn son, Arrow, his oldest son, Dash, is starting school, and Day is ready to shift his focus back to golf.
“This transition period shouldn’t be as bad," he said. “It’s hard to see your kids grow up. You want them to stay as little as possible, but they won’t be out on the road as much, so I can focus on rest, recovery and practicing more than coming back off the course and being Dad.”
And of course, he’s ready to defend his title at the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open. Day said he enjoys playing Torrey Pines Golf Course because it’s challenging and familiar.
“Torrey Pines, La Jolla, San Diego, it all reminds me of Australia,” he said. “If it reminds you of home, it puts you in a good mindset already.
“I’ve realized how much I love the golf course and the style it ran. Typically, I like courses that are hard scoring-wise because you have to have a good mental game to keep pushing you. Sure, you’re playing against other guys, but really you’re playing against yourself and your ego."
The 2019 Farmers Insurance Open will take place Jan. 21-27 at Torrey Pines Golf Course.
For more information, visit farmersinsuranceopen.com.