A major title is one of the lone things missing from Marc Leishman’s list of accomplishments in professional golf, but the LIV Golf defector has come to grips with potentially not playing them regularly in the future.
Leishman, 39, left the PGA Tour along with fellow Australians Cam Smith and Matt Jones to join the upstart rival tour.
LIV Golf events are not currently eligible for Official World Golf Rankings points, meaning most players who are not otherwise exempt are likely to miss out on playing in the Masters as well as the PGA Championship. However, they can still potentially go through qualifying to earn spots in the U.S. Open and The Open Championship.
Leishman has played in 30 consecutive major championships, but only the top 50 players in the world at the end of the calendar year receive an invite to the Masters the following spring.
“That was one of the things I had to weigh up when I did make the move,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald ahead of this week’s Australian PGA Championship. “I’ve played at pretty much all the majors for the last 12 or 13 years. I’ve had my chances. Obviously, I want to play them, but I’m fine not playing them.”
Leishman, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour, has been as high as 12th in the world rankings. However, he has already fallen to No. 71 with no OWGR points earned since making the move to LIV Golf in August.
Leishman’s best finish at a major was a tie for second at the 2015 U.S. Open. He tied for fourth at the Masters in 2013 and has two other top-10s at Augusta, but does not have a top-10 result at the other two majors.
“I’ll try to qualify for the British Open and the U.S. Open and if the world rankings happen, I’d love to get into the Masters,” he said. “If not, I’ll watch it on the TV and hopefully watch Cam win it.”
Smith and Leishman have teamed up on LIV Golf’s Australian franchise, providing an additional business challenge to tackle.
“I’ve loved my time on the PGA Tour and I certainly enjoyed the transition,” he said. “That was one of the things that drew me to it. I’m not getting any younger and you can play golf forever, but you don’t know how high a level you can play at as you get at into your 40s.
“After playing, that’s going to be certainly something to work with and hopefully we can build the franchise and be a part of it when golf is done.”
–Field Level Media
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