Marc Leishman has admitted that his days playing in The Masters could be behind him, but says he accepts it.
The Australian was announced as one of six new signings to LIV Golf in August, which immediately put his chances of appearing in the Augusta National tournament in jeopardy. That’s because LIV Golf is not currently eligible for Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. As a result, Leishman has seen his ranking tumble, and he is currently World No.71 – 21 places beneath the final position that would guarantee him an invite to the tournament.
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Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (opens in new tab), Leishman explained that though he would like to compete in the tournament, he can accept the prospect of sitting it out. He said: “That was one of the things I had to weigh up when I did make the move. I’ve played at pretty much all the Majors for the last 12 or 13 years. I’ve had my chances. Obviously, I want to play them, but I’m fine not playing them.”
LIV Golf has been involved in a protracted effort to attain OWGR status, and has even linked up with the developmental MENA Tour in a bid to achieve eligibility, to no avail. However, while the stalemate means Leishman faces the prospect of being excluded from the Masters, he admitted that he would like to play in other Majors. He said: “I’ll try to qualify for the British Open and the US Open and if the world rankings happen, I’d love to get into The Masters. If not, I’ll watch it on the TV and hopefully watch Cam [Smith] win it.”
The 39-year-old explained that, alongside compatriot Smith, his attention is instead turning to building a franchise with his LIV Golf team as he looks beyond his playing career. He said: “I’ve loved my time on the PGA Tour and I certainly enjoyed the transition. That was one of the things that drew me to it. I’m not getting any younger and you can play golf forever, but you don’t know how high a level you can play at as you get at into your 40s. After playing, that’s going to be certainly something to work with and hopefully we can build the franchise and be a part of it when golf is done.”
In the shorter term, Leishman will play in the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship in Brisbane this week, where he’s hoping to claim his first tournament victory in his homeland. He said: “That’s one thing that’s missing: one of the big tournaments in Australia. I’ve been close a few times up at the PGA and to do that would certainly be something I want to do, and I would like to do it sooner rather than later. I’m excited to get up to Queensland for the PGA at a course I’ve played well at before, not since it’s been re-done though. Hopefully I can give myself a chance and we’ll see what happens.”
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