Australian golfer Jason Day
MELBOURNE -- Australian golfer Jason Day will represent Australia at the World Cup this week but said Wednesday he was strongly feeling his Filipino heritage after losing eight relatives to Super Typhoon Yolanda.
Day grew up in Queensland but his mother Dening comes from the region devastated by the storm and his grandmother, an uncle and six cousins were all killed.
The tragedy has tugged on his heart in ways he can't explain.
"Being half-Australian, half-Filipino, typically after something like that happens you tend to bend towards that way," Day told reporters at Royal Melbourne where he will pair with Adam Scott.
"It's difficult, there's really nothing, no way to explain the (feelings) that go out towards the people that have been affected."
Day's mother found out through relatives on Facebook that her own mother had died.
"Obviously, it is not the way you want to find out you lost someone you loved so much," he said.
"I am definitely looking forward to seeing my mum at the end of this week and just to give her a hug because I know she's gone through some hard times.
"We're still trying to look for some more people, some more relatives over there, so it's a tough situation."
The November 8 super storm, packing some of the strongest winds ever recorded, left an estimated 1.9 million to 3 million people displaced, while more than 4,000 people died.
World No. 2 Scott praised Day's courage for keeping his commitment to play in Melbourne despite the tragedy.
"Every credit to Jason for sticking around this week in a tough time and wanting to play and represent Australia," Scott said. "He understands how important that is for everyone down here."
Filipino pair Angelo Que and Tony Lascuna are also competing at the $8-million tournament and said while they lost no family members, it was tough being away from home.
"It has been pretty tough, you know, especially after what happened in the past two weeks but fortunately none of our family members were affected, although my in-laws were pretty close to the affected areas, but, you know, they are okay," said Que.
"We were pretty worried because we were in India when that happened.
"But everybody has been doing their part. Even when we had an event last week in Manila Liang Wen-Chong, when he won, he donated half of his earnings to the Red Cross for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
"And all the players, have donated their share, and agents have done the same thing and also the sponsors. Everybody has been great so it has been a great help and support."
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