Marc Leishman ‘Masters’ his outlook at Augusta

Marc Leishman during a practice round prior to the 2018 Masters Tournament. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Virginia Beach professional golfer Marc Leishman still has his personalized yardage books - and the notes inside of them, from all five Masters Tournaments in which he's played.

"You know where you can’t hit it," Leishman says about his approach at Augusta National Golf Club. "Most of it is mental."

Making more of an impact on his Masters mental makeup than any other: one of his trips to Augusta does more than just remain in Leishman's mind. It sticks like a sky-high wedge shot landing in a soft sand trap.

"Three years ago, I was eligible for The Masters," Leishman recalled. "I was down there for a practice round, and I ended up watching it from a hospital room."

Marc Leishman, Begin Again Foundation

Leishman, number 16 in the Official World Golf Rankings, left Augusta three years ago - pulling out of the 2015 Masters before it started. His wife Audrey was fighting for her life in Virginia Beach. Toxic Shock Syndrome coupled with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Sepsis had her in a coma in ICU with a five percent chance to survive.

"I don’t want to say it happened for a reason," Leishman admitted. "But I feel like a lot of good has come out of what happened with Audrey and her story."

The next chapter of that story is the birth of the Begin Again Foundation - Marc and Audrey's charity. Since its inception, the Leishmans have helped more than 1,500 families experiencing medical and life crisis.

Even the tallest Georgia pine in Amen Corner cannot top that real-life drama. And Leishman's perspective is rooted in that experience.

Audrey, Marc Leishman and family

"Hitting a bad shot or having round or a bad tournament is not life or death," Leishman says smiling. "We're very lucky. We have three lucky kids and a healthy wife, now."

So the 2015 Masters - the one he missed, will do more for Marc's mind at Augusta National this week than any note in any of those books from Tournaments prior.