After playing just six holes at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play on Wednesday, Jason Day conceded his round and withdrew from the tournament. Afterward, a tearful Day revealed that his mother was preparing for lung cancer surgery Friday, and that he needed “some time away with her.”

The world’s No. 3-ranked golfer and a former No. 1 revealed that his mother, Dening, received the diagnosis at the start of the year and was told she had 12 months to live. Day brought her from their home country of Australia to Columbus, Ohio, where he has been living for many years, and she is reportedly being cared for at The James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State.

“It’s really hard to even comprehend being on the golf course right now, because of what she’s gone through,” Day emotionally told reporters in Austin, after leaving his match against Pat Perez.

“It’s been very, very emotional, as you can tell. I’ve already gone through it once with my dad, and I know how it feels. And it’s hard enough to see another one go through it.”

Day’s father, Alvin, died of stomach cancer when he was 11. The future PGA Championship winner and his sister were raised in poverty in rural Australia by their mother until he was able to get into a golf academy, where he developed into a budding superstar.

The 29-year-old Day said his mother’s “diagnosis was much better” now that she is in the U.S., and he was “glad brought her over here.” He added, “I just need some time away with her to make sure that everything goes well, because this has been very, very tough for me.

“So I’m going to do my best and try and be there the best I can for her, because she is the reason that I’m playing golf today.”

Day told reporters that he was offering his comments because he didn’t want there to be speculation that his withdrawal Wednesday had anything to do with his own health, alluding to a brief back issue he had at last year’s Match Play. “Family first,” he said.

The surgery will be to remove a mass in his mother’s lungs of about three to four centimeters. “I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for her, and we can get this behind us and she can live a long life,” Day said.