Jason Day withdraws from event, reveals his mother is battling lung cancer

Justin Heiman

He revealed that Australian doctors had advised that his mother's cancer was terminal - but they'd received a better diagnoses in the US. It's very bad news for one of the good people and players in the game. Spieth didn't win a hole until he was conceded a bogey on the 14th hole. Spieth did not play well at all and certainly not as well as McIlroy.

"It's hard to say", replied Reed, who has slipped from a career high of No. 7 in the Official World Golf Ranking a year ago to No. 12 last week. In the WGC's previous guise, the defeat to Kjeldsen would have been enough to send him home.

"This is the reason why I've obviously pulled out this week because of my mum going into surgery to try and get rid of this 3-4cm mass that's in her lungs". I was contending nearly every time I played.

Add Jordan Spieth to the list of surprising first-round losses in the Dell Technologies Match Play.

"His wedge play was very sharp all day". He didn't really miss putts.

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Dening sacrificed everything for Jason, in the hopes that one day he could follow his dreams and play golf on the pro circuit. "It's hard to beat that, especially when the wind was getting up".

"I played well but he was six under through 17 holes, which is great scoring on this course with the wind blowing". It's been very tough for me.

McIlroy turned things around with the help of a mammoth drive at 12, delivering three birdies on the spin to edge in front of the Dane.

It was the first time Spieth has lost in the opening match in four appearances.

McIlroy, the 2015 champion and a semifinalist past year, appeared to seize control against Soren Kjeldsen when he won three straight holes, but Kjeldsen ran off four straight birdies to end the match.

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Kjeldsen finished off the No. 2 player in the world with a tee shot into 2 feet on the par-3 17th.

"Being on the European Tour for 20 years and then suddenly changing it up, coming over here not knowing anybody and not knowing the courses has been hard, but it's what I wanted and I'm enjoying it".

"If I had played anyone else, I might have won", McIlroy said. I think the US Open is probably one and this was one.

"I had a really nice run there, winning two tournaments [the WGC-HSB Champions at the end of 2015 then the Travelers Championship last August] and playing well". I knew I had to play well to have a chance. "I'm going to have a good week of practice after this and hopefully I will be ready for The Masters". "You've got to play well to advance no matter what".

Not that McIlroy was the only high-profile casualty on day one. "It probably would have been". Later, he tried to provide context.

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"My back is fine, I'm 100 per cent healthy", Day said. "I got into my little zone". Thomas won the next two and then closed him out on the 17th. Patrick Reed halved with Jason Dufner while Johnson, the world No1, thumped Webb Simpson 5&3.

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