COVER STAR JASON DAY, WINNER OF THE 2015 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP AND DEVOTED FAMILY MAN
Jason Day didn’t have it easy growing up in Australia. His story is the ultimate triumph over adversity, clearly illustrating why family is always Jason’s top priority.
The Days lived in poverty, to the extent that they would often forage for useful items at the town dump. On one trip, Jason’s father found an old 3-wood and brought it home to his son. Jason was three years old, and he took to it immediately, using the club to smash whatever object was handy. This went on until Jason was six and finally met the minimum age requirements at the Beaudesert Golf Club. At that point, he was using a mixed bag of salvaged clubs.
Jason’s life fell apart when his father died from stomach cancer when Jason was 11. It left his family in tatters, and he almost never recovered. Jason was only 12, but he started drinking, staying out late and getting in fights at school.
Jason’s mother saw his potential as a golfer, and she made a desperate choice. By taking a second mortgage on her home and enlisting help from one of Jason’s uncles, she sent her son to the same independent boarding school that produced fellow Australian golf phenomenon, Adam Scott. The school’s culture, and the lack of surrounding temptations, helped Jason stop drinking and focus on healthier pursuits, like golf. He read a book about Tiger Woods, which inspired him to wake up every morning at 5am to practice. Ultimately, Jason turned pro in 2006.
Tragedy continued to haunt Jason in 2013, when he lost eight close relatives, including his grandmother, due to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. His mother, a native Filipino, had migrated to Australia over 30 years ago.
Jason persevered and in 2009, he married Ellie Harvey who he met through his longtime coach and current caddie, Colin Swatton. Before Jason was raking in the cash on the PGA Tour, Jason and Ellie traveled from tournament to tournament in an RV with their two dogs.
The couple has a son, Dash, born in July 2012. That year, Jason withdrew from the British Open to be with the newborn, keeping his focus on family.
These days, Dash is a fixture at the golf course with Ellie; the family enthusiastically celebrated Jason’s win at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits together. And the news keeps getting brighter for the Day family: Ellie is pregnant with the couple’s second child.