To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
2013 PREVIEW: Aussie Marc Leishman is coming off his best season where he won for the first time and posted career-highs in FedExCup points and earnings. Capitalizing on that confidence boost will be important in the new year.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Without question, it was the bogey-free 62 Leishman shot in the final round of the Travelers Championship. He started the day six strokes off the pace and had to wait nearly two-and-a-half hours to see whether his score would be good enough for the Aussie's inaugural TOUR win. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: I followed him on Sunday at the Travelers and thought his final-round 62 was great stuff, but would be well short of a win. I was wrong. Leishman’s win at the Travelers might have been the best back-door victory of the season. He only missed four cuts this year but also only had two top-10 finishes. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Authored one of the rounds of the year with a closing 62 at the Travelers Championship to secure his first PGA TOUR victory. However, he then failed to book a top 25 in his last eight starts and didn't break 70 in 18 of his last 19 rounds. Didn't play the Fall Series, but competed in both unofficial events on the Asian Swing. Since he was Rookie of the Year in 2009, his total driving, greens in regulation and all-around splits have been worse than the previous season. It suggests that he's still very much searching for a comfort zone. Now that he's fully exempt through 2014, perhaps he can just go play. Stick with a spot in the heart of your roster. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finishes||1st||Travelers Championship|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 19
Rounds played: 84
Top-10 finishes: 2
Money List rank: 41st
Driving distance: 99th
Driving accuracy: 168th
Greens in regulation: 150th
Strokes gained-putting: 161st
Scoring average: 90th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
What is your prediction for Marc Leishman in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Players not otherwise eligible for the British Open have this week and next to try to earn a spot in the field at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
Marc Leishman earned one of two spots by virtue of a mini-money list (cumulative earnings from THE PLAYERS Championship, FedEx St. Jude Classic, U.S. Open, Travelers Championship, AT&T National and The Greenbrier Classic).
Leishman, who won for the first time two weeks ago in Hartford, was all but guaranteed a spot with just over $1.15 million in earnings coming into this week -- and a $400,000-plus lead over second place.
The Aussie finished his week here at 4 over and near the bottom of the leaderboard.
Michael Thompson, who was second on that money list, did not play this week. He could still earn the second spot if no one on the leaderboard passes him.
Others near Thompson at the start of the week will not. John Merrick was just over $100,000 behind Merrick, but like Leishman he finished near the bottom of the leaderboard at even par for the week following a final-round 73.
Ditto Charley Hoffman, who ended the week 1 over, and Jhonattan Vegas, who missed the cut.
Another spot will go to the top finisher here (and at next week’s John Deere Classic) not otherwise eligible.
Marc Leishman meets with the media and talks about his win at the Travelers and AT&T National's special attention paid to U.S. military troops.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Marc Leishman was celebrating his first PGA TOUR victory with friends on Sunday night, and with every toast, it seemed, there was something else to look forward to in the coming months.
The Masters? That was a given. The PGA? Check. And Leishman was pretty sure he would be in the field in Akron in August for his first World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Leishman didn't realize he was leading the mini-money list for entry into next month’s British Open, though. And he'd forgotten about the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the island of Maui in January.
"It was funny, actually," Leishman said. "… Things just kept popping up. ... Everything happened so quick that it was just good things kept coming throughout the night. It's like Maui, got the tournaments in Asia that I'll be in later in the year. Yeah, it's been a pretty good couple of days."
Leishman, who is playing this week at the AT&T National, didn't try to qualify for the British Open because the Aussie is currently trying to get his green card and he didn't think he would be able to leave the U.S.
He's been in America on temporary basis with a P-1A visa as an internationally recognized athlete. He's married to an American, though, and the couple has a young son so Leishman can now apply for permanent residency.
The Aussie spoke with his immigration lawyers earlier this week. He was approved for an "advanced parole" travel document a week ago so he can hopefully leave the U.S. and compete at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in the season’s third major.
"Apparently it takes 30 days to come through, so hopefully it gets here before the British, otherwise I'm not sure what we're going to do," Leishman said.
Leishman is nothing if not patient, though. He closed with a 62 at TPC River Highlands and had to wait two-and-a-half hours to see if his score would hold up as Charley Hoffman squandered a two-stroke lead on the final two holes and several other players fell short.
"I know how easy it was to do what Charley did because I did it
on Saturday," Leishman said. "I played well most of Saturday, and I
think I was at 9 under going into 17 trying to get to 10 to give
myself a real crack on Sunday and double bogeyed 17 and bogeyed 18.
"Obviously you take a win any way you can get it. You'd rather go out and make a birdie on the last hole and have all the jubilation than do what happened, but having said that, I'm not wishing that anything else happened. ... Obviously apart from getting married and having my son born, it was a big moment for me."
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Titleist is debuting some new firepower this week at the AT&T National, namely its 913 series of drivers.
The company hasn’t introduced a new driver in two years, but the 913 is the next step in the “900” family (with “9” being its designation for metalwoods and “13” for the model year), with a few subtle differences from the 910 series.
Titleist loyalists will notice the striping on the sole and new markings on the face, as well as a weight cartridge at the rear of the club. The cartridges can be swapped out to optimize launch conditions, and like the 910 models the new 913 has the SureFit Tour hosel to adjust lie and loft.
Like the 910, the 913 has a D2 and D3 model, with the D2 being slightly bigger.
Bobby Gates took the first swings with the club on Monday at the range at Congressional Country Club, with Titleist players Seung-Yul Noh, Jimmy Walker and Brendan Steele also getting licks in. Rory McIlroy has one in Ireland this week, where he’ll play in the European Tour’s Irish Open.
The clubs will go on sale to the public sometime in the fall, retailing for around $399.
MR. 59: After dalliances with several flatsticks, Stuart Appleby returned to the Odyssey White Hot XG 330 mallet that he shot 59 with at The Greenbrier Classic in 2010.
“I really had to assess what was going on in my game and where I had to improve,” he said. “I was chasing around, moving putters. Didn’t know when I was going to hit the hole. It just started sapping the energy.”
Sure enough, he finished T18 at the Travelers for his first top-20 finish of the season.
COLORFUL: More of Callaway’s udesign-inspired Razr Fit drivers are making the rounds on the PGA TOUR. At the Travelers, J.J. Killeen used a purple one in honor of his TCU roots, while Danny Lee used a blue driver that was actually built for Fredrik Jacobson, but the Swede declined to use it in play so Callaway reps gave it to Lee.
WINNER’S BAG: Marc Leishman at the Travelers
Driver: Titleist 910D3 (UST Mamiya AXIVCore, 7.5 degrees)
Fairway wood: Titleist 910F (13.5 degrees)
Hybrid: Mizuno Fli-Hi (18 degrees)
Irons: Titleist AP2 (3-4), MB (5-9)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled (PW, 54, 58 degrees)
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Mid-slant T10
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Check out the June nominees for PGA TOUR Player of the Month presented by Avis.
Who’s was the best PGA TOUR player in June? Now, you can help determine the winner.
On the first Wednesday of each month, fans can vote online at PGATOUR.COM for one of four players nominated for their outstanding play the previous month by a panel of national media.
The four nominees for June are: Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson and Marc Leighman.
The voting ends on the following Sunday, and the player with the most votes will be named the PGA TOUR Player of the Month. In addition, Avis, the “Official Rental Car Company” of the PGA TOUR, will present the winner with a $50,000 check payable to his charity of choice.
Results will be posted next Wednesday on PGATOUR.COM.
And if you want to state your case for why your favorite player should win the June award, just fill out the form below and let us know.
How about Marc Leishman sneaking into the winner's circle to win The Travelers Championship? It was a bizarre finish, as Charley Hoffman finished double bogey-bogey to lose by one.
Leishman is a player that many of you may not know a lot about, but he was the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year in 2009. It will be interesting to see what the big-hitting Aussie can do next. One of the things I like about Leishman's swing is how his driver swing exits up around his lead shoulder. This exit plane is a great indicator that he is hitting his driver on a good attack angle.
One of the keys to the driver is to create an attack angle through impact that is relatively level to the ground. This sweeping motion off the tee allows players like Leishman to launch the ball with minimal spin. When this happens, you will often see the golf club exit -- when viewed from the target line -- around the lead shoulder.
The most common error with the driver is to swing the club on too steep of an attack angle. This angle can create a lot of spin and rob players of power and consistency. When this happens, the club will usually exit more to the left and well below the lead shoulder. As a result, ball flight will usually be high and to the right.
If this is you, focus on allowing the club to exit higher and up around the lead shoulder. This exit plane will promote a more favorable attack angle, with the driver through impact leading to a more powerful and playable draw off the tee.
Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.
The Travelers Championship has been a haven for first-time winners in recent years, and another one was crowned on Sunday. Marc Leishman shot a final-round 62 to come from well off the pace at TPC River Highlands and get his first PGA TOUR title.
Want to offer congratulations to the Aussie? Leave a note below and we’ll deliver it to him.
CROMWELL, Conn. -- He had to wait over 2 hours, but it was worth it.
Marc Leishman shot an 8-under 82 to grab the early clubhouse lead Sunday at the Travelers Championship, then watched as everyone else around him collapsed.
When the tournament was finally over, Leishman was a winner at 14 under, one shot clear of Bubba Watson and Charley Hoffman, who threw away a once three-shot lead with a double bogey-bogey finish.
It’s the fifth time in the last seven years that a player recorded his first career win at TPC River Highlands.