Local PGA TOUR pro attracts big names for first charity tournament

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Marc Leishman may not be from Hampton Roads, but he’s certainly one who cares for the Virginia Beach community, as evidence by his first annual Celebrity Classic Golf Tournament which raises funds for his foundation “Begin Again.”

The tournament brought in faces familiar to Hampton Roads, such as New York Mets third baseman David Wright (Chesapeake), former major league star Michael Cuddyer (Chesapeake), and Pro Football Hall of Fame-r Bruce Smith (Norfolk).

It’s also attracted Grammy Award-winner Joe Don Rooney, lead guitarist for Rascal Flatts, and the number one-ranked player on the PGA Tour, Jason Day. MORE

Wife’s health scare gives Leishman new outlook on golf

By Scott Michaux |

There’s a universal refrain shared at Augusta Na­tional Golf Club this week, from players and patrons to media and members: We’re lucky to be here.

Few, however, understand that more palpably than Australian golfer Marc Leishman.

“This time last year, everything was normal,” Leishman said before Masters Week. “My wife got sick the week before the Masters. It’ll be interesting to see how it feels going back there for the first time, because that’s where I got the call when I was there the week before for practice rounds.”

A year ago, Leishman left Au­gus­ta National in the wee hours after getting an emergency call from his wife, Audrey. His entire world was crashing down when she was barely clinging to life in a Virginia Beach, Va., hospital with toxic shock syndrome. He wasn’t sure he’d ever be back. MORE

‘My wife nearly died while I was playing the Masters’

By Mark Cannizzaro

AUGUSTA, Ga. — For those fortunate enough to make the drive down Magnolia Lane, it’s a special and memorable experience.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.14.34 AM

For Marc Leishman, the drive down the iconic, narrow, tree-lined lane that leads to the fabled Augusta National clubhouse on Monday was like none he had ever taken.

Leishman, the 32-year-old Aussie, has made the drive before, having played the 2010, 2013 and 2014 Masters. But this one was different. It’s deeper and more meaningful.

A year ago, Leishman was forced to flee Augusta National on the eve of the Masters when he received word that his wife, Audrey, had been hospitalized with potentially deadly toxic shock syndrome. MORE

PGA Tour star Marc Leishman and his wife’s brush with death

By Brian Parsons

VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — This time last year, Marc Leishman was in Augusta preparing to play in the Masters. That’s when he received a phone call to return home to Virginia Beach. His wife Audrey had been hospitalized.

“It turned out she got put straight into ICU and things went downhill from there,” Marc Leishman said.

Audrey was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress and toxic shock syndrome. Her organs were shutting down and she was placed in a medically induced coma.

“I basically got told without saying it that she was going to die,” Leishman said.

Doctors gave Audrey a five percent chance to live, but after a couple days in a coma, Audrey began to improve.

“I think about where I was and what could have happened,” Audrey said. “I know that it is pretty much nothing short of a miracle.” MORE

The best, worst, year of Marc Leishman’s life

Photography by ERIC LUSHER
Photography by ERIC LUSHER

by TOM ROBINSON

Marc, a PGA Tour golfer, had raced home from Augusta, Georgia, where he was practicing for the Masters. Audrey was in the ICU at Sentara Princess Anne and it already appeared too late.

Through a haze of fear, fatigue and heartbreak, Marc heard the pulmonologist say his wife’s best hope – her only hope, really – was a medically induced coma.

“They said we have to do this right now or she’ll die,” he says. “It was her best chance, but the chances still were not good.”

They were worse than not good. They were 5 percent. Audrey, a healthy, vibrant mother of two young boys, was dying of toxic shock syndrome and acute respiratory distress. Her organs were failing. Her lungs were so full of fluid that she rattled as she breathed on the ventilator.  MORE

Callaway signs Tom Watson and Marc Leishman

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 4.56.18 PMIt’s the beginning of a new year, which means it’s time for equipment companies to take a look at who should be playing their clubs this season. For those keeping score at home, Callaway has announced the players that they’re sponsoring for the 2016 season.

Callaway has a portfolio of marquee players in Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Branden Grace. But they also have two newcomers: Marc Leishman and Tom Watson.

Leishman, who formerly played Titleist, finished last year number 25 on the Official World Golf Ranking. The most notable moment of his 2015 season was the British Open. Remember? He was part of that playoff that brought the world’s dreams of a Jordan Speith Grand Slam to an end? He was also T-5 in the British Open in 2014, and fourth in the 2014 Masters. MORE

Marc Leishman cruises to Nedbank Golf Challenge title in Sun City

Australia’s Marc Leishman ended a trying 2015 on a high after cruising to victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge to claim his first European Tour title and complete an Australian double.

Following compatriot Nathan Holman’s win in the Australian PGA Championship earlier in the day, Leishman carded a closing 67 at Sun City to finish 19 under par, six shots clear of Henrik Stenson.

England’s Chris Wood was a distant third on nine under with defending champion Danny Willett, Victor Dubuisson, Robert Streb and Branden Grace joint fourth on eight under.

Leishman pulled out of the Masters in April after his wife Audrey fell seriously ill with toxic shock syndrome, a rare but life-threatening bacterial infection during which she was put into an induced coma. She is now recovering but Leishman feared the worst and was prepared to give up golf to care for their two young children.

“I’m pretty happy to have this year over, to be honest,” the 32-year-old said. “Audrey got very sick and I lost an uncle who I was very close to. This tops off what was otherwise not a great year. Three weeks ago we moved into a new house, so this will help pay for that.”

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Marc Leishman wins by six strokes in Sun City

SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — Marc Leishman picked up his maiden European Tour title on Sunday as he won the Nedbank Challenge by six strokes.

The Australian, who started the final round ahead of Henrik Stenson by one shot, carded a 5-under 67 to finish 19 under for the tournament and win $1.25 million.

The 32-year-old Leishman’s previous best finish on the tour was at this year’s British Open, when he lost a playoff to Zach Johnson.

Three straight birdies either side of the turn meant that Stenson only trailed by two shots with eight holes to play, but the Swede finished poorly to shoot a par 72 on the day.

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Marc Leishman win gives Jordan Speith Presidents Cup scare

Seoul: For a fleeting moment on Sunday, Jordan Spieth’s head was filled with guilt. The hottest golfer in the world was convinced he had just lost the Presidents Cup for the United States. After leading his singles match against Marc Leishman from the outset, Spieth stumbled on the back nine, handing victory to the Australian.

It could not have come at a worse time with the Presidents Cup still in the balance but, like everything that has happened to Spieth this year, it all worked out in the end and he finished a winner.

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Australian Marc Leishman on his way to beating Jordan Spieth (left) by one hole in their Presidents Cup singles match on Sunday. Photo: David Cannon

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Marc Leishman gains perspective after wife’s health scare

SAN FRANCISCO — A simple text message Wednesday all but had Marc Leishman in tears. The Australian had just defeated Justin Rose at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play, and his wife, Audrey, sent word of congratulations.

For as routine as that might seem, Leishman looked at his phone in amazement.

“Every time I get a text off her … as close as we were to losing her, it still feels really cool that I can get text messages off her and just do that,” Leishman said after his 3-and-2 victory over Rose. “It’s just cool to have her around. I hope it stays that way forever.”

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