Jason Day’s Long Rise to No. 1 Began With a Mother’s Save

“What we lost in some aspect we gained in independence,” she said.

When Jason was 12, he lost his father to stomach cancer. Jason said he was in the hospital room when Alvyn died.

Afterward, he and his siblings scattered like birds freed from their cages. Jason began abusing alcohol and getting into fights in school. His mother, fearful of losing him to the streets, sold their home and borrowed money from relatives to send him to Kooralbyn International School, eight hours south of Rockhampton, the Queensland city where the Days were living at the time.

At the boarding school, which was known for its sports programs, Day came under the tutelage of Colin Swatton. He became the most influential male in Day’s life: coach, caddie, confidant and corrective influence for his abusive, controlling father.

When Swatton left for another school nearby, Day followed. Swatton accompanied Day to the United States after he turned pro at 18 to help him get settled and never left his side. He will be caddying for Day at Augusta National Golf Club this week when they make their sixth Masters appearance together.

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