Local PGA Tour pro attracts big names for first annual charity tournament

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Marc Leishman may not be from Hampton Roads, but he’s certainly one who cares for the Virginia Beach community, as evidence by his first annual Celebrity Classic Golf Tournament which raises funds for his foundation “Begin Again.”

The tournament brought in faces familiar to Hampton Roads, such as New York Mets third baseman David Wright (Chesapeake), former major league star Michael Cuddyer (Chesapeake), and Pro Football Hall of Fame-r Bruce Smith (Norfolk).

It’s also attracted Grammy Award-winner Joe Don Rooney, lead guitarist for Rascal Flatts, and the number one-ranked player on the PGA Tour, Jason Day.

“It’s great to see,” said Day, who’s known Leishman since the two were junior players back in their native Australia. “Obviously, with my foundation and his foundation, we’re all just trying to make a better future for people.”

The foundation stems from the scare Leishman and his wife had to endure back in 2015. Audrey Leishman, who’s from Virginia Beach, nearly died from toxic shock syndrome, forcing Leishman to leave the Masters.

Audrey has since made a tremendous recovery, and the foundation aims to bring awareness to the disease, as well as help families struggling with medical expenses.

“We realized what sort of financial hardship you can go through with an illness like that,” said Leishman. “We just want to help families that aren’t as fortunate as we are.” The tournament is expected to raise more than $200,000, all of which will go to Begin Again.