PAUL and Pelita Leishman have waited 18 months to see their son Marc but their reunion means they will miss the final stages of his quest for an Olympic medal.
The Warrnambool-based couple will watch the opening two days of the golf, which starts on Thursday at Kasumigaseki Country Club, before making the 35-hour journey to the United States on Saturday.
"We applied for a travel exemption and it got approved so hopefully we will be on the plane going to America on Saturday," Paul told The Standard.
"We will watch the first two rounds and then we will be in transit, hopefully.
"When we got accepted we were excited as we had it in the pipeline for a while as we haven't seen him for a long time.
"Hopefully it works out so when he flies home from the Olympics we will meet him in Memphis for the next tournament."
Paul and Pelita have not seen their son, daughter-in-law Audrey and their three grandchildren Harvey, Ollie and Eva since March last year when the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world.
They will spend three months with Marc and his family before heading home in mid-November. Paul plans to enjoy his time with his son and also have a hit with Harvey, who has become a keen golfer.
Paul said if families were allowed to travel to Tokyo he and Pelita would be on course to follow their son's Olympic debut in person.
The Warrnambool Golf Club member, who will be cheering from afar and will keep a close eye on the leaderboard when in transit, said it was exciting to see his son on the Olympic stage for the first time.
"It's more so that he wants to represent Australia and being away and living in the US for so long his drive to represent his country is the pleasing part for me," he said.
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"They (Marc and fellow Australian Cameron Smith) will go alright. The weather is going to be hot and humid, and I wouldn't say they are confident but they will give it their best and hopefully they can get a medal."
Marc was to compete in Rio five years ago but pulled out over fears e could put his wife's health at risk. Audrey was still recovering from a bout of sepsis at the time.
The 37-year-old, a six-time winner of the PGA Tour, won't miss this time and will be amongst the 120-strong field playing for gold.
His home club will be open but it won't be able to host a party for one of its greatest golfers.
Warrnambool Golf Club manager Ashlee Scott said it was exciting to see Marc competing at an Olympics.
"It means everything to us as we have followed Marc's career closely and having been on PGA Tour circuit for a number of years and we have been huge fans," she said.
"He is representing us at the next level and we wish Marc all the best."
Play starts at Kasumigaseki at 8.30am (AEST).
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