Date: May 05, 2016
Author: Golf Australia

Leishman withdraws from Olympics

Marc Leishman has reluctantly withdrawn his candidacy for Olympic selection.

In a heartfelt statement, Australia’s No.3 ranked male golfer said his decision was based purely on the health of his wife Audrey, who’s still in recovery mode after a brush with death in 2015.

“It is with deep regret that I have informed Golf Australia that I will be unable to represent my country in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil,” Leishman said.

“Many of you may know that last April my children and I almost lost my wife, Audrey, to toxic shock syndrome.

“Since then Audrey has been prone to infection and is far removed from 100 per cent recovery of her immune system.

“We have consulted with Audrey's physician and due to her ongoing recovery from toxic shock and potential risks associated with the transmission of the Zika virus, it was a difficult yet easy decision not to participate.

“I missed playing in the 2015 Masters tournament to be at her side when she was originally stricken and I cannot risk placing her health in jeopardy.

“The Masters and the Olympics are the two biggest tournaments to which a golfer can be invited; however, my family will always come before golf.

“Finally, I hope that my fellow countrymen understand why I have made this decision. I hope none of them are ever in a position to have to do the same.

“My best to the Australian golf team in Rio De Janeiro and the entire Australian Olympic team in the upcoming Olympic Games.

“I will be cheering you on.”

Australian Olympic team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller said she respected Leishman’s call.

“We understand that family must always come first and we respect Marc’s decision not to play in Rio,” Chiller said.

The Olympic golf team will be finalised on July 11 with the top two men and women in the respective world rankings qualifying.

With Adam Scott and Leishman having withdrawn their candidacy, Marcus Fraser now leads a tight race in the men’s division for the second place behind world No.1 Jason Day.