Australian golfer Marc Leishman has withdrawn from the Masters to be with his family as wife Audrey continues to recover from a life-threatening illness.
Audrey Leishman has been battling pneumonia and multiple infections, at one stage placed in an induced coma to help the fight.
While her condition has improved significantly, the Victorian has put family first to be with his two young sons in the difficult time.
“It is with both deep regret and incredible relief I am withdrawing from the Masters tournament this week,” Leishman said.
“My wife Audrey has survived a life-threatening medical emergency and I have decided to remain by her side with our children during this difficult time.
“Thanks to an incredible team of doctors and nurses Audrey appears to be on the road to a full recovery and our two young children remain blessed to have the worlds best mum in their lives.
“I want to pass along our thanks to all who supported us through this difficult period.
“We ask that you keep Audrey in your thoughts and prayers and I wish my best to all of the competitors for a great 2015 Masters.”
In a great sign the mother of two took to her social media pages on Wednesday morning with a smiling selfie and the hashtag #thumbsupforbeingalive.
“This is not the highlight reel and I hope to God I never look like this again but I think we sometimes get caught up in the beauty of our own worlds that we forget parents are taken away from their babies everyday,” she posted.
“So if you haven’t, cuddle your families, your babies, those cute furry ones, and your friends. #thumbsupforbeingalive.”
Leishman was shaping up to play in his fourth Masters.
He missed the cut on debut in 2010 but was tied fourth in 2013 after leading following the opening round. He played with champion Adam Scott on Sunday and had his own chances to win Australia’s first green jacket.
He once again found himself in the mix in 2014, surging to the lead early in the second round only to drop a humbling 10 shots in 12 holes to miss the cut.
Adam Scott, Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy, John Senden and amateur Antonio Murdaca will now carry Australian hopes into the 79th Masters.