LeishmanFamily1268

  • The Leishman Family.

In sports, we constantly hear terms like “battle” and “fight.” Yet, even though Marc Leishman won The Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in impressive fashion befitting the Tournament Namesake, you will forgive him if he views golf as “only a game.”

That is because LIFE gave Leishman many more challenges to overcome than a sporting contest. Two years ago, the Aussie was prepared to give up golf and become a full-time dad after his wife, Audrey, was stricken with a mysterious illness (ultimately diagnosed as Toxic Shock Syndrome). Initially given a five percent chance of survival in 2015, Audrey was miraculously given a clean bill of health by her infectious disease doctor this past September. Ironically, that was also the month that Palmer would pass away. That battle won, Audrey was in the Gallery all weekend with sons Oliver and Harvey to witness her husband earn his second PGA Tour victory.

Leishman attacked the Orlando, Florida course in a style reminiscent of Palmer. After 54 holes, there was a three-way tie with Charlie Hoffman, Kevin Kiser and Rory McIlroy sharing the top of the Leaderboard going into Sunday’s final round. Leishman played consistent golf and stayed close to the trio until the 16th hole. A 50-foot Eagle Putt allowed the Aussie to leapfrog the leaders and eventually win, carding an 11-under par 277.

While the win propels Leishman into the Masters in April, the Arnold Palmer Invitational Champion knows his family fought and won a far more significant battle. Not only are Marc, Audrey, Harvey and Oliver an intact unit prepared to share what they hope will be many more PGA Tour victories, but the couple will welcome their third child this July.

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