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
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
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
With a third of the team hailing from these shores there will be no questioning the Australian contribution to the 11th Presidents Cup which gets underway in Korea tomorrow.
Spearheaded by the Internationals’ highest ranked player, Jason Day, there are three automatic qualifiers and a Captain’s Pick representing Australia over the four days and they will be expected to contribute plenty both on and off the course.