Golf Australia

Flat stick runs hot for Leish

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Marc Leishman used a tried and true Odyssey putter just 27 times to put himself in contention at the Dell Technologies Championship in Boston today.

Leishman said he had close 20 putters in the “back shed’’ of his Virginia Beach home, a pittance next to the likes of former Australian Open winner Lee Westwood who had more than 100.

Leishman carded 67 in bright but cold conditions on the TPC Boston course for a four-way share of second place and just one shot adrift of World No. 1 Dustin Johnson who recorded a five-under par 66.

“I would have five or six Odysseys and a few Scotty Cameron putters as I used Scotty Cameron for a long while, I would have about 20 which is not a whole lot,” Leishman said.

‘Leish’ raced to be three-under par with three birdies in succession from the second to fourth holes and while he dropped a shot at the fifth the current World No. 30 bounced back with birdies at seven and eight.

He dropped a second shot of the round at the 13th but ended on a positive note at the par five, 18thwhere his second shot was long and through the green before chipping to just over two-metres and holing the birdie putt.

“After those three birdies in my first four holes I just kept making those par putts you need to make to keep the round going and rolled-in a couple of long birdies that was good,” he said.

“Then down the last I hit a great drive, a great second shot but just got a hard bounce but managed to hole about an eight-footer to end with a birdie and that was a nice way to finish.

“Overall, I struck the ball pretty well, but the putter was really good, which is what let me down last week.  So happy with all the work that I’ve put in early in the week. It paid off today, and hopefully can keep the ball rolling the next few days.”

Leishman took a week off following his 13th place finish in the PGA Championship and his next best of the four majors in 2017 following a T6 in the Open Championship.

But then scores of 71 and 72 at the Northern Trust saw Leishman drop six places to 20th on the FedEx Cup standings.

Leishman is in line for a Presidents Cup spot this season, and said he felt good physically and mentally. “I feel as though I have managed myself well this year as I haven’t played a whole lot of golf while there has been things going on off the course such as another addition to the family,” he said.

“So, I would say over the last two to three years I have got better in managing my time on and off the course, so that has helped control my energy levels”.

Adam Scott (71) is the next best of the Australians through round one, while Rod Pampling (72) was solid, while Jason Day (75) and Cameron Smith (76) struggled.

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