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Leishman shines again at Travelers

Bump and Run

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Marc Leishman bounced back to form today, firing a stylish 65 to share fourth just one off the lead at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

The Victorian, who won this event in 2012 as his breakthrough on the US PGA Tour, carded six birdies against just one bogey to sit one stroke behind Vaughn Taylor, Andrew Loupe and Jerry Kelly.

Leishman leads a strong 12-strong Australian contingent at TPC River Highlands, eight of whom are under par and in contention after round one, including resurgent Monday qualifier Stuart Appleby who’s T24 at two under.



Tickets have gone on sale for the World Cup of Golf at Kingston Heath from November 23-27.

“We expect to have a world-class field with many top players already commenting publically about their desire to play," executive director Matt Kamienski said.

"The ability to play in a rare team format, the reputation of Kingston Heath as a course and Melbourne as an incredible host city, as well as the stature of the World Cup as a historic international event are all factors in drawing some of the biggest names in the game.

"Fans in Victoria have the opportunity to get their tickets and reserve their spot as 28 teams from around the globe come to Melbourne ... expect to see some big names committing ... over the next 4-6 weeks.”

Ticket options range from practice round tickets ($30), single-day competitive round tickets starting at $60 and two-day weekend tickets ($95).

Additional options include a full-week pass and upgraded tickets in the MacKenzie Club.

Children under 16 are admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

To purchase tickets, or find more information on ticket options, log on to from today. 



New Zealander Lydia Ko needed four extra holes to defeat Mirim Lee and Ariya Jutanugarn to pick up her fourth win of the season at the 2016 Marathon Classic in Ohio today.

The world No. 1 shot a final-round two-under par 69 to pick up her 14th LPGA Tour victory after finishing at 14 under.

It then took the longest playoff in the history of the tournament, but Ko stepped into the winner’s circle for the second time in three years.

“It's always good to come back to a place where you've well played,” Ko said.

“It's been a fun week. I guess we had to play four extra holes for somebody to be holding the trophy, but Mirim and Ariya all had a great week, so it was hard to say someone deserved the trophy more than the others.”

Katherine Kirk was top Aussie at T21 at five under, while Sarah Jane Smith closed with a flat 74 to finish two over and tied 53rd.



Two veteran Victorians are winding back the clock at the US PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship, with Aaron Baddeley and Stuart Appleby in the mix.

Baddeley, playing limited starts this season on a past champion's exemption, finiished with three birdies on the trot -- including a near ace -- to shoot a spectacular 64 to leap into contention in Auburn, Alabama.

It catapulted him to a tie for second at 13 under alongside fellow veteran David Toms, who could only get through 14 holes before bad weather stopped play.

Leader Jhonattan Vegas, who fired a second-round 60 to seemingly make it a one-horse race, is still -16 through 13 holes, but is one over for his third round to date.

Appleby, playing much better after back surgery, fired his third straight sub-70 round, this time a 66 to reach -11 and a tie for fourth.



Australian Sarah Jane Smith savoured her best result on the LPGA Tour since 2014 today.

Smith, 31, has endured some frustrating results since the 2014 Tour Championship.

But the affable Queenslander has shown some very encouraging signs in the past few weeks and today recorded a T13 finish in the Texas Shootout.

Smith, now in her ninth season on the American-based Tour, had a flat start to her 2016 campaign.

But other than in testing conditions in San Francisco two weeks ago, she has not fired a round worse than one-over-par since the Founders Cup in mid-March.

And that run was capped this weekend in Texas with rounds of 67-69 to scythe through the field.

No other Australian woman made the cut this week, with world No.12 Minjee Lee missing her first weekend action since last year’s US Women’s Open.



Victorian Matt Griffin conquered the "hardest day of golf" he's seen en route to a career-best finish on the Japan Golf Tour.

Griffin, 32, fired a tidy three-under-par 67 to close out The Crowns in a tie for fifth on the tough Wago Course at the Nagoya Golf Club.

So trying were the conditions during the event that Griffin said after his second-round 71 that he'd rarely seen a tougher test.

“Probably the hardest day of golf I've seen today here in Japan with a combo of wind, course and setup. One over and moved from 32nd to 9th,” Griffin tweeted after his round.

And the Melburnian cashed in, keeping his groove to tournament's end.

“Played really solid all week and nice way to keep the form rolling,” he wrote.



We all know golf is a mind game, but research has taken that to a whole new level.

In a study by British lecturer Sally Linkenauger and a Lancaster University research team, it was found that golfers will putt better once they thought a top professional had used the putter.

Divided into two groups and asked to attempt 10 2m putts, one groups was told 2003 Open champion Ben Curtis had used the putter in question.

The players were also asked to estimate the hole size.

Remarkably, Dr Linkenauger’s team found that those using the putter they thought once used by Curtis drew the hole nine per cent larger and made 32 per cent more putts than the “control” group.

Dr Linkenauger said the results, gathered in 2011, displayed “evidence of positive contagion”.

“People who believed that a professional’s skills had rubbed off on a piece of equipment performed better while using it,” she told the Harvard Business Review.

“Contagion is an idea from social psychology. It means that when someone touches an object, they leave behind the essence of themselves on it … part of the reason people value autographs.”

Now, if we can only get Jason Day to pick up our sticks!!



Tim Hart's extended flirt with 58 at the Queensland PGA Championship sent some scurrying for the record books.

As it turned out, his closing triple-bogey meant a 61 and statisticians rested easy.

But it wasn't before the name of Brad McIntosh was tossed around as the first Aussie to break 60 in an Australian PGA Tour event -- his superb 59 coming at the same tournament, but at a different venue in 2005.

That host club was Emerald Lakes at Carrara on the Gold Coast -- a shortish layout, but still a par 72 capable and worthy of holding championship events.

And that course is topical again at the moment with a rising young star making waves.

Josh Capes has been close to selection in a handful of representative teams in his short career to date, but couldn't even make the Emerald Lakes pennant team chosen a few weeks ago.

But, to his credit, that didn't stop the determined 17-year-old from rededicating himself and working harder than ever.

His scores since have been nothing short of remarkable with Capes firing a combined 23 under in his past four rounds, including a 66 last weekend.

But the icing on the cake was a scintillating 61 on March 12 -- a low mark at the course other than McIntosh's freakish round -- that has brought Capes' handicap down to +1.



Two great sand saves in succession helped Melbourne’s Terry Pilkadaris to a share of fifth place in the Indian Open overnight.

The former West Australian made par and birdie from the greenside sand on both 17 and 18 to close out a 67, just two shots behind American leader Daniel Im at the Delhi Golf Club.

South Australian Wade Ormsby also opened well, firing a 68, while Asian Tour veteran Scott Barr shot a 71 to sit T40.

But needing a prominent finish to push his US Masters entry claims, Marcus Fraser uncharacteristically hit just seven of 14 fairways in firing a flat 74.



Matt Jones has rocketed to No.51 in the world rankings after his Emirates Australian Open victory.

Jones, whose career high was 41 after his win in last year’s Houston Open on the US PGA Tour, soared 30 places after pocketing 32 world rankings points with his victory at The Australian.

Adam Scott’s runner-up finish was also good enough to bump him back to No.10, up two slots.

The rankings shake gives Australia six players in the top 80 in the world. Jason Day is top of the pops at No.2, Marc Leishman is No.47, John Senden is No.72 and Steve Bowditch is No.74.

There are 13 Aussies in the top 200, with another nine ranked between 200-299.

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Golf Australia