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.
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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.
CROMWELL, Conn. -- By the time Marc Leishman finished his post-round interview Sunday, he’d already lost his lead.
Still, Leishman’s 62 was enough to give him the clubhouse lead at 14 under -- for now. Charley Hoffman had already birdied the 12th hole to move to 15 under by the time Leishman was done talking.
Not that Leishman was going anywhere anytime soon.
“I'll be watching pretty closely, but I don't need to be anxious,” Leishman said. “I probably think I'm one or two short and that's the attitude I'm going to have, so I'm not going to be disappointed when or if someone comes in at 15.”
Nevertheless, the round was a step in the right direction for the Aussie, who has just one top 10 this season and was burned out after five straight starts. He took the last two weeks off, however, and barely touched club. The rest seemed to pay off.
“I practiced I think two times in the three weeks,” Leishman said. “It's been close for a while actually. I just get a little bit streaky with the putter, and I haven't been lately.”
Leishman had just 24 putts in the final round and was perfect from inside 10 feet. He was also 3-for-4 from outside that range.
“It’s just been a matter of giving myself enough chances,” Leishman said. “I've been giving myself a few chances and then hitting a bad shot and throwing a bogey or a double in there. I didn't have any holes that just wrecked my momentum.”
CROMWELL, Conn. -- TPC River Highlands has a history of yielding low numbers. Marc Leishman is trying to add his name to the list.
Through his first nine holes, Leishman is 5 under on his round, making the turn in 30, to get to 11 under for the week and within one of the lead of Brian Davis and Roland Thatcher.
Davis and Thatcher will tee off at 2 p.m. ET.
So far, Leishman has missed just one green in regulation and has a half-dozen one-putts.
Leishman’s best finish this year was a tie for third at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Like the two current leaders, he’s also never won the PGA TOUR.
Others making an early move include 2010 winner Bubba Watson, who is 2 under through his first three holes and now just two off the lead. Ditto Charley Hoffman, who is 1 under through two holes.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Earlier this week, Marc Leishman teamed with fellow Aussie pros Jason Day and Nathan Green for a cricket match. The threesome found a few caddies and some other players to join their squad against a local team at a cricket ground in a suburb north of Dallas.
They did the same thing a couple of weeks ago in Charlotte, using the down time before the start of the Wells Fargo Championship to play cricket. Prior to that, the 28-year-old Leishman hadn't not played in an organized game of cricket in at least 12 years.
"Been a long time," he said about his favorite sport back home.
The 65 left him as the clubhouse leader after the morning wave was finished, and left him one stroke off the lead held by Ryan Palmer once the first round was done. More important, it left the 2009 Rookie of the Year winner with some positive vibes about his game.
"Today was a good reward for the work I've been doing the last three or four weeks," said Leishman.
Leishman said he made an adjustment to square up his club face, and has also been fighting some old habits, especially with his posture, which he said had "been a little hunched." His accuracy off the tee has been a problem this year, as he entered this week ranked 177th on TOUR in that category.
But he missed just three of 14 fairways on Thursday. "It's an easy game from the fairway," he said with a smile.
It's also easier when you can post a couple of eagles. He chipped in at the par-4 11th after he nearly drove the green at the hole, which played to 306 yards on Thursday. Five holes later, Leishman produced another eagle at the par-5 16th when his 2-iron from 243 yards left him with a relatively easy 8-foot eagle putt. He had just put the 2-iron in his bag the previous week at THE PLAYERS Championship.
The biggest thing for Leishman, though, is trying to remain patient as he waits to take the next step in his TOUR career.
In 2009, he claimed Rookie of the Year honors, thanks mostly to his performance during the FedExCup Playoffs when he became the lone rookie to reach the final stage, the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. He followed with a solid sophomore season in which posted a couple of top-10 finishes, including a runner-up at the Farmers Insurance Open.
But after a tie for third at the 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, Leishman has not been a factor. He hasn't had a top-10 since then, a stretch of 30 starts coming into this week. With Rickie Fowler's win two weeks ago at the Wells Fargo Championship, Leishman is the only past Rookie of the Year winner in the last decade not to have a TOUR win on his resume.
He said Thursday that he found himself started to press last year to end the drought, that he was becoming inpatient. Only now does he feel like he's in a better frame of mind.
"You don't have to play perfect to win," he said. "I'm learning that. I think it takes a fair while to learn that.
"I'm just trying to do what I can to give myself a chance really. I think early in this year and late last year, I was trying to push too hard. Hopefully I can do the right things."
ORLANDO – Thomas Bjorn and Bo Van Pelt withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard on Wednesday.
Van Pelt, who had a knee injury, was replaced by Ted Potter Jr. while Marc Leishman, who tied for third last year, landed Bjorn’s spot. Michael Bradley is now the first alternate.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- Marc Leishman acknowledged he was more than a little nervous.
"Honestly at the end, I thought I blew it," the Australian said in all candor.
Leishman had started Monday's final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship with such promise, playing his first nine holes in 33 to move to 7 under for the tournament. But he got swept away in the wind on the back nine, making three bogeys, one double bogey, a birdie and a par over his last six holes to shot 72.
“I really like this course and I had it going early but couldn't quite finish it off,” Leishman said. “Just a bit frustrating toward the end but that's golf.”
Turns out, though, his tie for 42nd waas more than good enough to earn the Aussie a third straight trip to Chicago for the BMW Championship. Leishman, who had to birdie two of his last three holes on Saturday just to make the cut, had started the week as the bubble boy at No. 70 but moved five spots to 65th on Monday.
Leishman had been in a similar situation two years ago. He came to TPC Boston ranked 93rd but jumped to 67th when he tied for 15th at the Deutsche Bank Championship on the strength of a second-round 62. Leishman then went to Cog Hill and tied for second on the way to earning Rookie of the Year honors.
"None, really," Leishman said when asked what kind of pressure he felt. "I mean it was either play gpood and get in next week or not play good and have three weeks off. As simple as that, really."