Date: January 15, 2013

Grant Report – Watch Australians in 2013 – Leishman

Victorian Marc Leishman has predicted Australians will bounce back this year from an unproductive season on the US PGA Tour in 2012.

Leishman was the only Australian to win last year, taking out the Travellers Championship. That earned him a start in the elite Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii, where he finished in a share of 23rd place.

Leishman last week competed in the Sony Open in Honolulu, won by American rookie Russell Henley at 24 under par. Leishman was the highest placed Austalian, finishing in a tie for ninth, `10 shots off the lead.

Scott Gardiner, playing in his first US PGA Tour season, was in a share of 15th with fellow Australian Matt Jones while Victorian Alistair Presnell tied for 36th, Cameron Percy tied for 59th and Steven Bowditch in joint 67th.

Leishman says it is pointless searching for a reason why the Australian stars have not performed as they did five or six years ago, when they regularly collected serious silverware. ”I don’t think there is any reason for it,” Leishman said.
"Even if you do play exceptional golf, if one person plays better than you, you don’t win. "Sometimes you can be lucky, sometimes really unlucky,” he said." However he was quick to point out that the level of competition was becoming more intense each year. All players, including Australians, needed to ensure they did everything possible to make sure they were competitive.
”It’s getting tougher because there’s so many good players out there. And the quality is getting better," he said. ”But all of the Australians are quality players, too, so hopefully it will be a big year for us and we will finish next year with five or six winners. ”The signs are there for next year and hopefully it’s good things to come.”

Leishman’s personal program is to target the courses he likes and has a record of playing well on. ”You have to play well on the right week and that’s one thing I really try to do now – I choose the courses that I like and play well around, and try to set myself to peak for those weeks,” he said. ”But it is really tough to actually win. There is a lot of pressure to perform.”

Simply because they did not win last year, Australia still has a core group of players who can threaten at any PGA event, including the majors.

Adam Scott is now world No.5 and is in the middle of perhaps his most consistent period of his career. With around $3 million in earnings, Scott continues to be a serious grand slam contender, along with the ever-reliable John Senden, Jason Day and Victorians Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley and Leishman.

Veterans Stuart Appleby and Robert Allenby, who took home much of the prizemoney among the Australians a decade ago, both feel they can recapture their form and return from a year they would rather forget.