Date: April 07, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Leish: Let it blow

It’s no surprise to form watchers that Marc Leishman leads the Australian assault on the Masters after round one.

And by the sound of the big Victorian, it’s no shock to him, either.

The recent Arnold Palmer Invitational champion made just two bogeys – one after a wayward approach to the 18th courtesy of a “mudball” –  in finishing one over and T19 after all but conquering severe westerly winds at Augusta National.

His comfort with high winds, largely from his familiarity with them at his home Warrnambool Golf Club on the Shipwreck Coast, was clearly evident as he outpointed his higher-profile compatriots throughout a tough day.

In fact, Leishman was so comfortable that he said “bring on the wind” again.

“We get used to shooting low numbers a lot, not playing in too much wind over here, so this is great, I am enjoying it,” the affable Victorian said.

Smiling and “enjoying life and golf” Leishman said he feels comfortable at Augusta and thinks the weekend, and more, is well within his reach.

“I have played well in the first round here a fair bit (he shared the lead with a 66 in 2013 and was T5 with a 70 in 2014)). I’m feeling good, in a good spot off the course (and the) game is probably the best it has ever been coming in to The Masters.

“I am enjoying my golf and that is a big part of playing well.

“You can only play in the conditions you are given and I enjoy playing in the wind, I really enjoyed it today.

“I like the fact that if you play well even par is a good score, and one-over is a good score.”

Leishman drilled his second to the par-five second hole to the back fringe and nearly chipped in for eagle to kick-start his round.

But there were precious few other gilt-edged chances throughout a remarkably consistent round that only was stained by a three-putt from long range on the 10th and his issues from the right side of the 18th fairway that cost him an even higher rung on the leaderboard.