Jason Day will represent his native Australia this week with a heavy heart after learning that eight of his family members recently died in Typhoon Haiyan, according to a report from the Herald Sun.
The report states that among those in Day’s family who died in the devastating disaster were his grandmother, uncle and six cousins. It continues: “One aunt was found alive despite being swept to another village, while another aunt's family survived after binding themselves together with rope and taking refuge in an attic.”
Day’s mother, Dening, left the Philippines for Australia three decades ago, and the 26-year-old was born after the move.
"My daughter has been updating him, but I don't want to bother him because he has commitments,'' she told the Herald Sun. “There will be plenty of time to talk after [the World Cup]. He's representing his country, so I don't want him worrying about anything apart from golf.''
Late on Sunday, Day released a statement:
"I am deeply saddened to confirm that multiple members of my family lost their lives as the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. My family and I are thankful for all who have reached out with their prayers and concern. We feel devastated for all who have been affected by this horrific tragedy. While I understand the media's interest in this matter and hope that any coverage can spread awareness to assist with the relief efforts that continue in the Phillipines, I hope that all will respect my family's privacy during this difficult time. I will have no further public comments at this time. Please pray for all who have suffered loss. Thank you."
The report states that Day’s sister Kim is the only one of his siblings to have met his grandmother and extended family, but the loss has still impacted them.
"They were family,'' she said. "There has been talk about whether the rest of us should go back to the Philippines to help, but it seems like we can't do anything,” said another sister, Yanna. “Mum's a very tough woman, but I know she mourns privately.''
Day will compete at Royal Melbourne this week alongside Adam Scott, who is fresh off a Talisker Masters victory on the same course.