'I'm Fine Not Playing' - Leishman Accepts Masters Days Could Be Over

The LIV Golf player says he's come to terms with the prospect of being excluded from the Augusta National tournament

Marc Leishman takes a shot in the 2022 LIV Golf Team Championship in Florida
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Marc Leishman has admitted that his days playing in The Masters could be behind him, but says he accepts it.

The Australian was announced as one of six new signings to LIV Golf in August, which immediately put his chances of appearing in the Augusta National tournament in jeopardy. That’s because LIV Golf is not currently eligible for Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. As a result, Leishman has seen his ranking tumble, and he is currently World No.71 – 21 places beneath the final position that would guarantee him an invite to the tournament.

Video: What Is LIV Golf?

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Leishman explained that though he would like to compete in the tournament, he can accept the prospect of sitting it out. He said: “That was one of the things I had to weigh up when I did make the move. 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."

LIV Golf has been involved in a protracted effort to attain OWGR status, and has even linked up with the developmental MENA Tour in a bid to achieve eligibility, to no avail. However, while the stalemate means Leishman faces the prospect of being excluded from the Masters, he admitted that he would like to play in other Majors. He said: “I’ll try to qualify for the British Open and the US Open and if the world rankings happen, I’d love to get into The Masters. If not, I’ll watch it on the TV and hopefully watch Cam [Smith] win it.”

The 39-year-old explained that, alongside compatriot Smith, his attention is instead turning to building a franchise with his LIV Golf team as he looks beyond his playing career. He said: “I’ve loved my time on the PGA Tour and I certainly enjoyed the transition. 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.”

In the shorter term, Leishman will play in the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship in Brisbane this week, where he’s hoping to claim his first tournament victory in his homeland. He said: “That’s one thing that’s missing: one of the big tournaments in Australia. I’ve been close a few times up at the PGA and to do that would certainly be something I want to do, and I would like to do it sooner rather than later. I’m excited to get up to Queensland for the PGA at a course I’ve played well at before, not since it’s been re-done though. Hopefully I can give myself a chance and we’ll see what happens.”

Check out the Golf Monthly website for all the latest news, reviews and the best Black Friday golf deals as we approach Christmas.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.