Date: September 07, 2016
Author: Bernie McGuire, Indianapolis

Leish playoff run defies back pain

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Marc Leishman hopes a nagging back injury won’t hinder his hopes of finishing top four in this week’s BMW Championship at famous Crooked Stick Golf Club.

Leishman qualified for the US PGA Tour’s penultimate event north of Indianapolis right “on the bubble” in 70th place with a rousing finish last week.

But the tough news for the 32-year-old Warrnambool ace is that he needs to finish top four in the northern suburbs of Indianapolis to make the top 30 who qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship.

Leishman revealed he’s been carrying the injury for some time and with the help of his trainer and painkillers, he’s fighting his way through the pain barrier.

“I’ve got two bulging discs and one herniated disc in my lower lumbar spine,” Leishman said today.

“They just flare up every now and then. It can be doing silly things like hopping into a car or just twisting and sitting that can do it.

“Luckily, this year it’s been pretty good. But in the first two playoff events it was painful.”

Leishman first experienced the pain at the 2015 US PGA Championship won by fellow Aussie Jason Day.

“So I’ve been getting 30 minute treatments before and after each round since," Leishman said. 

"Generally once in the morning and it will soften up as the day goes on, but it’s just we’re golfers and it’s wear and tear.

“Probably every golfer has had something wrong with their back.  Mine just happened to flare up at a bad time in the playoffs and hopefully we can manage it like we have been and I can roll a few more putts in and we can be talking about getting to Atlanta instead of talk about my back.”

Leishman has contested the Tour Championship just once – in his maiden season in 2009 – when he finished T2 in the BMW Championship and went to Atlanta for an eventual share of 28th place.

“The good thing about the FedEx Cup is that everyone here this week can do what Billy Horschel did a couple of years ago and that’s win-win and all of a sudden you got the FedEx Cup in your hands,” Leishman said.

“If you look at playoffs in other sports, it's cut throat (and) generally sudden death … but I like it how if you can just sneak in and win, all of a sudden you’ve got a chance to take out the FedEx Cup.”