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June 27 2012

7:54 PM

Leishman counts blessings

Leishman news conference before AT&T National

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."

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