Leishman set for Major contention
He had the best seat in the house when Adam Scott won the Masters in 2013 and now Marc Leishman wants to grab some major success, but he'll be doing it in his own style.
The 34-year-old Australian heads into the new year ranked number 12 in the world and with genuine reason to believe his game went up a notch in 2017 as he claimed two PGA Tour titles and ticked off no less than 12 top-20 finishes around the world.
His victories came in the prestigious Arnold Palmer Invitational followed by September's BMW Championship, a week in which he trounced an elite field by five shots, leaving Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose in second, with the likes of Jason Day, Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth in the top ten.
Asked afterwards what had prompted the change in his game this season he didn't hesitate to answer: "My driving. Being on the fairway and further up is a pretty huge advantage. You can be more aggressive."
When he returned home in November he was asked about his chances of adding to Australia's Major tally.
"A lot of things have to go right to do that," he added. "There are only four majors every year. You've got to play well on the right week. So if I can just keep playing the way I have been, play well more consistently, I feel like that gives me my best chance to try and contend and win Majors."
His coach Denis McCade was more bullish, saying: "It's like any sport, the more often you put yourself in position to win, eventually it is your turn. I think there is a real determination there too for him now. The next couple of years - it is time.
"As long as we manage that expectation, you are not trying so damn hard you get in your way, I expect him to be sticking his hand up at some stage. It is pretty exciting as a coach to be watching someone and go, 'yeah, this guy is good enough'. He has so many shots."
Further fuelling the dream is Leishman's past record in the sport's greatest events. After playing alongside Scott during the final round at Augusta National in 2013 he finished fourth and is 41.00 for Green Jacket glory in 2018.
He boasts three top six finishes in the last four Open Championships and is 41.00 to lift the Claret Jug. Leishman is 67.00 to break his duck in the US Open and 81.00 to do so in the PGA Championship.
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