• World Cup of Golf

Day seals emotional World Cup win after family tragedy

ESPN staff
November 24, 2013
Jason Day and Adam Scott won the team event for Australia © Getty Images

Jason Day won his first tournament in more than three years and led Australia to World Cup glory to seal an emotional return to golf at Royal Melbourne after losing eight family members in the Philippines typhoon.

In the individual event, Day held off Thomas Bjorn with a seven-foot putt to save par on 16, carding 70 to finish 10-under, two shots ahead of Denmark's Bjorn, who made two late bogeys to finish on 71. Day and teammate Adam Scott also came out on top in the team portion of the event.

Day had not won a title since the Byron Nelson Championship in 2010 on the PGA Tour. He has however secured four top-five finishes in majors since 2011.

The World Cup had seen Day return to action after a five-week absence, and came less than two weeks after eight of his relatives including his grandmother died in the November 9 typhoon that devastated the Philippines.

His mother Dening, who migrated to Australia 30 years ago from the Philippines, was there with his sister, with both meeting Day just off the 18th green with a hug.

"It's just been an amazing tournament for me," Day said. "My mother, my family, coming down to support me. I'm just so happy the hard work has paid off, and I'm glad it happened in Melbourne.

"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."

His mother added: "The win is the best thing that happened after the disaster in the Philippines, so I'm so happy."

Though Bjorn missed out, Day's situation wasn't lost on him. "Obviously a fraction disappointed, I didn't play that great today," Bjorn said. "But I couldn't be happier for Jason winning. He has gone through a rough time of late and for him to even be here is a big thing and then to go and win a golf tournament ... that's what you want to see."

Jason Day and Adam Scott won the team event © Getty Images

Masters champion Adam Scott took third place with a 66, three shots behind Day, to end his bid for a third victory in a row. Day's win secured him $1.2 million, and he shared the $600,000 first-place team prize with Scott, and he vowed to support the Philippines victims.

"We'll definitely be giving some money or raising money and trying to raise awareness," Day said.

After nine holes Day led by four strokes, but bogeyed the par-three fifth after finding a bunker while Bjorn birdied to tie for the lead.

However Day eagled the sixth from an 80-yard approach, with Bjorn making bogey after finding the rough with his tee shot. Day increased his lead at the next hole to four when Bjorn three-putted for another bogey.

Day saved par on the ninth from 12 feet to keep his lead intact at the turn but teed into the rough from the 10th before two-putting for double-bogey. His lead was reduced to two shots over Scott and Bjorn, who then levelled Day with birdies at 11 and 13 before slipping back again with his bogey on the 16th.

Scott won the Australian PGA and Australian Masters on his first return to competitive action in his country after his triumph at Augusta in April, and is aiming to complete the Australian 'Triple Crown' with victory at Royal Sydney next week.

"It's been an incredible day," Scott said. "Thanks Jason, you played so well this week."

A host country have not captured the World Cup since 1996 when South Africa's Ernie Els and Wayne Westner won in Cape Town.

Jason Day won his first tournament in more than three years © Getty Images

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