JASON DAY didn’t really set things on fire at the 2015 US Masters but heads the field at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans this week, which also sees the welcome return of Marc Leishman after averting a potential family tragedy.
In a strong field world number six Day will be joined by the seventh and ninth top ranked players in Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose at the TPC Louisiana.
Leishman is back after withdrawing from the Masters due to what has now been revealed to have been a very close thing for his wife Audrey.
“It wasn’t looking good for her survival. It was shattering. The toxic shock syndrome started shutting down all of her organs,” Leishman told AAP’s Ben Everill this week.
“We were told her chances of survival was at five per cent. The only thing in our favour was she was fit, goes to the gym all the time, is young and has two young kids and a real will to live. Thankfully in the end, that’s what got her through.”
Leishman is playing this week with the full blessing of his wife and family.
“This certainly puts things into perspective. If you make a bogey, who cares, they happen, just fight back best you can,” the Victorian said of his return.
“Hopefully I can get myself into a position to win on a Sunday again pretty quickly and be able to just handle it without any stress or worry now.
“I can draw from her strength for sure, not just in golf, but in every day of our lives.”
Meanwhile, Day will be playing the first two rounds with Johnson and Ben Crane and a week out from the World Golf Championships Cadillac Matchplay, where he will be defending champion, will be looking to put in the sort of performance that won him that event, as well as the Farmers Insurance Open back in February.
Joining Day and Leishman are fellow Aussies Robert Allenby, Aaron Baddeley, Steven Bowditch, Greg Chalmers, Scott Gardiner, Jarrod Lyle, Cameron Percy, John Senden and tournament invitee Cameron Smith, who upstaged his more seasoned countrymen last week at Hilton Head.
Live coverage on Fox Sports beginning Friday 5am – 8am.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans LeaderboardZurich Classic of New Orleans Leaderboard