Playoff loss to drive assault
MARC Leishman says he will use the disappointment of his British Open playoff defeat as a spur towards US PGA success next month, attempting to join fellow Australians Jason Day and Adam Scott as recognised title contenders.
Now ranked 27th in the world, Leishman had the chance to become Australia’s first Open winner since Greg Norman in 1993 when he led at St Andrews by a stroke with three holes to play.
He ultimately lost a fourhole playoff to American Zach Johnson, who beat South African Louis Oosthuizen by a stroke in a dramatic finale.
Leishman, 31, produced phenomenal closing rounds of 64 and 66 to finish at 15- under to share a tie of second with 2010 champion Oosthuizen.
And after outperforming Day ( 14- under) and Scott ( 10under), the Victorian knows he is capable of hoisting a major, despite almost quitting in March because of his wife Audrey’s brush with death.
“Any time you can shoot in the 60s over the weekend of any tournament, I think it’s pretty good,” he said.
“But yeah, to do it in a major was great. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to outdo that and do better some day.
“It would be nice to shoot those numbers and win and have some great memories.
“I’ve got some really good memories from this week.
“It would have been obviously a lot better if I could have won.”
Leishman looked set to become Australia’s first Open champion at St Andrews since Kel Nagle in 1960 until he bo- geyed the 16th after his approach found a greenside bunker. After hitting to less than 2m, Leishman missed the par putt.
“That was pretty disappointing,” he said. “Hit a really good bunker shot and didn’t finish it off.
“I was definitely happy with the way I played and gave it my best shot.”
Leishman said he would he would not dwell long on failure, given the travails his wife Audrey has faced.
She almost died in April after a bacterial infection shut down most of her organs, leaving Leishman to face the prospect of raising the couple’s two young sons without her.