Date: July 02, 2012

Grant Report – Leishman hopeful British Open issue will be resolved

Victorian Marc Leishman, who a week ago became the first Australian to win on the US PGA Tour this year, is hopeful a complex issue which could prevent him playing in this month’s British Open will be resolved.

Leishman is involved in an immigration issue in the US which has the potential to hold him there even though his victory at the Travelers Championship took him to the top of the Open qualification list.
The top two players not previously eligible from a rolling money list will gain entry into the tournament which will be staged at Royal Lytham & St Annes from July 19-22.

Leishman has his fingers crossed that his application for a green card will be stamped in time. He  is eligible for permanent residency because his wife, Audrey, is an American citizen.

But the process is lengthy and, under US immigration law, someone with a pending application for  residency is unable to leave the country without prior consent.

Being grated what is known as advanced parole can take two months but it appears Leishman’s late bid has been successful.

"I spoke to my lawyers, my immigration lawyers, two days ago, and it’s looking like I will hopefully be able to go," Leishman said on Sunday at the tour event in Bethesda, Maryland, where he finished in a tie for 32nd behind winner Tiger Woods.

"I’ve been approved for an advanced parole to leave the country. It’s a card, like a credit card. Apparently it takes 30 days to come through, so hopefully it gets here before the British, otherwise I’m not sure what we’re going to do."

Leishman said he did not think he was going to have to leave the country while the application wound its way through the bureaucracy but that changed when he won last week.

"But it’s a good thing to have to worry about. Hopefully I’ll get into the British and it will take care of itself.

Leishman has another option, but a remote one and that is that his application for a green card is processed in time. However, he only lodged his papers five months ago.

"I definitely don’t want to miss the British so hopefully it will all come through in time but we haven’t even had our interview yet so I’m not sure it’s going to happen," Leishman said.

"The British is probably my favourite golf tournament of the year. I love playing links golf and I love everything about the UK so it would be good to go over and have a crack at it.

"It wasn’t looking real good but my lawyers have just confirmed advanced parole has been lodged … so fingers crossed it arrives before the British and, if I qualify, I can go."

Meanwhile, American Peter Tomasulo moved past Victorian Alistair Presnell to win the United Leasing Championship – the first event on the newly-named Tour (previously the Nationwide Tour) – in a playoff from David Lingmerth.

Presnell had fired a three under par 69 on Saturday in fearsome heat to increase his lead by two shots heading into the final round.

But a disastrous closing 78 left him down at 21st as Scott Gardiner finished as the leading Australian in a share of fourth.

Victorian Cameron Percy tied for 11th as he maintained his spot in the top 25 on the money list – and the chance of qualifying for the main tour in 2013.