By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
The cheers have become more personalized. The attention has increased. Those are some of the benefits that have come from Marc Leishman's first PGA TOUR victory. He’s defending that first title at the Travelers Championship.
“You (start) playing with guys that have won big tournaments, and generally they're guys that I have grown up watching on TV that have been out here a long time,” Leishman, 29, said. “There is a little bit more attention. People know my name now. Like no one ever knew who I was. I'd get here and the crowd was like who is this bloke here? And now it's like, "Go, Leish" or "Go Marc." So I think that's cool. But I don't think it's anything out of the ordinary that I wouldn't have expected. It's good. Hopefully I can be a multiple winner soon.”
Leishman was six shots behind co-leaders Brian Davis and Roland Thatcher entering the final round of last year’s Travelers Championship. He shot 62 to capture his first PGA TOUR title in 96 starts and join Greg Norman as the only Australians to win at TPC River Highlands. Leishman is still waiting for that second victory, but he’s had a strong campaign in 2013, posting top-10s at both the Masters (T-4) and THE PLAYERS Championship (T-9).
He held the 18-hole lead at Augusta National before finishing four shots behind winner Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera. Leishman, who qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in 2009, is No. 54 in this year’s FedExCup standings. He’s risen to 62nd in the Official World Golf Ranking after starting the year at 87th.
“My swing held up under pressure here, and at The Masters I was in contention all week, and it held up there,” said Leishman, the 2009 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. “That definitely gave me confidence to know I was good enough to win and to play good under the pump.”