PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Marc Leishman played himself into early contention with a 3-under-par 69 Thursday at The Players Championship, but the highlight of his day came after he finished.
Leishman looked up to see his wife, Audrey, standing on a hill behind the 18th green at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course.
Just a month ago, Audrey was on a ventilator fighting a series of dangerous infections that nearly killed her.
“I didn't actually see her until I finished out there, but quite a nice surprise when I looked up,” Leishman said. “It's awesome to have her here, especially after where she came from. It didn't look like she was going to be around, and then for only really a month later to be seeing her on the back of the 18th green there is pretty special.”
Leishman withdrew from the Masters last month to return home after Audrey’s illness took unexpected and serious turns. What started as flu-like symptoms quickly turned into pneumonia and then acute respiratory distress syndrome and toxic shock syndrome. She was placed in a medically induced coma as part of her treatment.
This week’s Players Championship marks the first time Audrey has been back on the road at a PGA Tour event.
“Things are pretty back to normal with her traveling,” Leishman said. “She's not able to walk the course at all yet, but just to have her out there is pretty awesome."
The couple has two young sons.
“It's important that she's healthy, and the boys have got their parents around,” Leishman said. “Yeah, we're really lucky with the way she's recovering. She's definitely a very strong girl, and we're all really proud of how she's recovering.”