Leishman's personal pain puts golf's ups and downs in perspective

Victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational handed Marc Leishman a chance to reflect on a time when golf took a back seat to personal matters.

Marc Leishman   -  Getty Images

Marc Leishman will not find it difficult to keep his Arnold Palmer Invitational victory in perspective after the family trauma he suffered two years ago at the Masters.

The Australian – who sunk a monster eagle putt en route to a one-shot triumph at Bay Hill on Sunday – withdrew from the Augusta tournament in 2015 after his wife Audrey was taken seriously ill.

It was a time in father-of-two Leishman's life that entirely altered his outlook and shone a light on the relative triviality of his career.

"I think the hardest part for me and the boys was right around the time where it happened, that month I would say. That was the hardest part for us," he said following his second PGA Tour win, after which he celebrated with his family.

"But I feel like for Audrey it was the recovery, the year or year and a half after. When she was in the hospital was when I was really struggling and when she got out is when she had her problems.

"It's been a wild ride and it certainly makes golf less important. It's not life and death. We have been in that situation and it's not fun. If you're missing a four-footer it's not fun, but you can make a 40-footer on the next.

"It does certainly make you appreciate the good times a lot more and appreciate just everything, your kids and your family and just having people around.

"It's just great to be able to share this with someone. If it was just me, it wouldn't be anywhere near as fun, if they weren't with me."

Leishman finished a stroke clear of Kevin Kisner and Charley Hoffman and the result allowed the 33-year-old to answer possibly his greatest critic – youngest son Harvey.

"He keeps reminding me that it's been a while since I won. He says, 'Daddy, why don't you ever win the trophy?'" said Leishman.

"So, that's nice to get that now, to go and get that trophy."

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