Augusta - Australian Marc Leishman withdrew from the 79th Masters on Wednesday to be with his ill wife Audrey, reducing the field in the year's first major golf tournament to 97 players.
Leishman's wife was hospitalized last week with a serious illness and he wants to be with her and their two children.
When the opening round begins Thursday morning at Augusta National, Welshman Ian Woosnam and American Erik Compton will tee off in a pair instead of the usual threesome as the invitational event does not have alternates.
Leishman, 31, has played three times at the Masters, missing the cut in 2010 and last year while sharing fourth in 2013, playing in the final group on Sunday with eventual winner Adam Scott.
Leishman led after the opening round in 2013 after firing a 66, but could not crack par again, settling for his best finish in 14 major starts while Scott became the first Aussie to lift the green jacket symbolic of Masters supremacy.
The only US PGA Tour triumph for Leishman came at the 2012 Travelers Championship, although he has also collected titles in Australia and South Korea.