Australian golfer Jason Day has confirmed that eight of his relatives died in Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, including his grandmother.
''I am deeply saddened to confirm that multiple members of my family lost their lives as the victims of Typhoon Haiyan,'' Day, who plans to play at this week's World Cup, said in a statement released Monday by the PGA Tour. ''My family and I are thankful for all who have reached out with their prayers and concern.''
Day was attending a corporate outing in Melbourne on Monday and it was not clear whether he would be at Royal Melbourne, where the World Cup tournament begins Thursday. He and his Australia teammate Adam Scott, who won the Australian Masters on Sunday, were scheduled to hold a news conference on Wednesday.
''We feel devastated for all who have been affected by this horrific tragedy,'' Day added in the statement. ''While I understand the media's interest in this matter and hope that any coverage can spread awareness to assist with the relief efforts that continue in the Philippines, I hope that all will respect my family's privacy during this difficult time.
''I will have no further public comments at this time. Please pray for all who have suffered loss. Thank you.''
Day's mother, Dening, had earlier told Monday's edition of the Gold Coast Bulletin that the player's uncle and six cousins also died in the typhoon, which has killed nearly 4,000 people and left more than a thousand missing.
Day's mother, who migrated from the Philippines to Australia 30 years ago, told the newspaper ''my daughter has been updating him, but I don't want to bother him because he has commitments.''
She said many of her family members lived in the area around Tacloban, the capital of hardest-hit Leyte province.
Day is playing at Royal Melbourne as Australia's second-highest ranked player at No. 20. Scott is No. 2 and the Australian pair is among the favorites for the tournament which has team and individual components.
Day is entered to play in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney next week.