Golf Australia - - AROUND THE TRAPS -

WHEN it comes to pro­mot­ing mar­quee Aus­tralian play­ers in the build-up to our sum­mer of golf, why is Marc Leish­man still not men­tioned in the same con­ver­sa­tion as Adam Scott and Ja­son Day?

The Vic­to­rian is un­doubt­edly a favourite to win the Greg Nor­man Medal in Novem­ber as the stand­out Aus­tralian golfer of the year. Yet while our or­gan­is­ing bod­ies scrap for ap­pear­ances from Scott and Day, his name con­tin­ues to be some­what of an af­ter­thought. And while that could be ac­cepted in years gone by, that should no longer be the case.

Leish­man be­gan the year ranked No.56 in the world and at the time of writ­ing he was No.23 and still ris­ing. He is one of the best ball-strik­ers on the planet, a crowd-favourite and is well-re­spected by the very best play­ers on the PGA Tour.

“Marc Leish­man will win a ma­jor cham­pi­onship in my mind, I lost to a re­ally good cham­pion to­day,” said Jor­dan Spi­eth af­ter los­ing his sin­gles match to Leish­man at the 2015 Pres­i­dents Cup.

The 33-year-old has come close to ful­fill­ing Spi­eth’s prophecy on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, but is still yet to break into the ma­jor win­ner’s cir­cle. And that’s where his name seem­ingly loses value – at least in the eyes of pro­mot­ers – next to the likes of Scott and Day.

But War­rnam­bool’s favourite son has been a shin­ing light on the PGA Tour this year, where our two ‘big­ger names’ have both strug­gled. He won the Arnold Palmer In­vi­ta­tional in March – Aus­tralia’s only PGA Tour vic­tory for 2017 – and posted a fur­ther six top-10 fin­ishes.

The 2009 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year was also our most con­sis­tent per­former at the ma­jors this year and his in­clu­sion in the field for ei­ther the Aus­tralian Open or PGA Cham­pi­onships would raise the stocks of that event con­sid­er­ably. – Michael Jones

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