Well we finally got our first Aussie winner on the PGA Tour in 2012 and it came from Marc Leishman at the Travellers Championship in Connecticut on Sunday. This event has become a tournament that first time winners seem to make their mark with 5 of the last 7 going on to claim their maiden Tour victories including US Masters Champion Bubba Watson and two time winner this year Hunter Mahan.
The quiet unassuming Leishman had one of those nervous waits on the final day finishing two hours ahead of the final group and must off thought about packing up his clubs and cracking a beer with a host of players still out on course and in position to push the Victorian maybe into a top 5 result. But golf being the crazy game it is and water coming into play on three of the final four holes at the TPC River Highlands, it was always going to be close finish. In the end Leishman was the one left standing as they all fell over like nine pins at your local bowling alley.
The win has taken Leish to the next level of his golfing career. He now gets a two year exemption on Tour so that means he can pick and choose the events he wants to play in. On top of that he gets invited into all the short field events, gets to tee it up in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January at Kapalua, and the big one, a trip up Magnolia Lane for the US Masters. Great stuff Leish soak it up!
The USPGA Tour moves to the one of my favourite courses in America this week the Congressional Country Club for the AT&T National. This will be the 6th staging of the tournament and each year is hosted by former world number 1 Tiger Woods who won around here in 2009.
No doubt Tiger will start as the short priced favourite after coming off his two victories this season plus a pretty solid showing at the US Open (at least for 36 holes anyway). The hardest thing to predict with Woods is which game will he bring? One thing is for sure he likes this track so I can’t leave him out of the reckoning.
A couple of others I like this week are Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk. Mahan must be feeling good about his game after firing a closing 61 at the Travellers on Sunday plus he finished runner up to Tiger at the AT&T the last time it was at Congressional in 2009. That year he closed with a course record 62 on the final day to finish one shot behind Tiger.
I am going to stick with Jim Furyk this week even after his disappointing loss at the US Open. For 69 holes at the Olympic Club the tournament was his. A couple of bad swings down the stretch and the rest is as they say in the classics is history. The veteran has a good record at Congressional posting three top ten’s in the past.
Of the 7 Aussies that are in the field my sentimental favourite is Marc Leishman. Wouldn’t it be great to see him go back to back. For mine though, I’m going to go with Adam Scott. He put in a good performance at the US Open finishing the last three rounds at even par so his game is solid right now and the long Congressional layout suits his game to a tee.
Have a great golfing week everyone!