Marc Leishman faces losing his record of competing in 30 straight majors after dropping down the official world golf ranking (OWGR) since joining LIV Golf.
The 39-year-old Australian has seen his ranking drop from 36 last year to 68 after joining the Saudi-backed series and thus being suspended from playing in PGA Tour events. Leishman has an impressive record of playing in 30 straight majors but faces having to play in qualifying tournaments next season.
The Masters is the first of the four golfing majors and the top 50 in the OWGR at the end of the season will receive an automatic place.
Currently LIV Golf events do not receive ranking points as their application remains undecided. Leishman told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that the possibility of missing major tournaments was considered when he joined the Saudi-backed series.
“That was one of the things I had to weigh up when I did make the move," said Leishman who finished runner-up at the Open in 2015 and tied for fourth in the Masters two years earlier.
“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.
“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.”
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Father-of-three Leishman was named PGA Tour Rookie in 2009 and has won six PGA Tour events - his latest coming last year alongside fellow LIV Golf rebel Cameron Smith in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Smith and Leishman have been recruited to help build an Australian franchise for LIV Golf and the Victoria professional is also targeting events in his home country during the long break in LIV events.
“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.”