The year’s second Major is a tournament full of promise for Australian fans with five down under players in the field and two of those among the favourites.
Jason Day and Adam Scott will rightly command the bulk of the attention leading into the U.S. Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin and that is as it should be.
But lurking just below those two Major champions, and quietly attracting his fair share of support from close watchers of the game, is Australia’s best performed golfer on the PGA TOUR in 2017, Marc Leishman.
Leishman grabbed the spotlight with his second PGA TOUR victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March but it is on the game’s biggest stages where he has often produced his best golf.
Part of a three-way playoff for the 2015 Open Championship and T4 at the 2013 Masters, the Warrnambool native heads to Erin Hills for his sixth U.S. Open but perhaps the one that offers him his best chance yet.
A combination of the unusual venue, the likelihood of strong winds and a run of form that suggests all parts of his game are in good shape should see Leishman arrive at the first tee Thursday quietly liking his chances.
Twice in the last month he has been in the top-15 and his raw statistics look good, particularly his eighth in scoring average for the season on the Tour.
In every Strokes Gained category Leishman is in the positive, his total Strokes Gained (a combination of all categories combined) placing him 11th on Tour picking up an average of 1.388 shots on the field per round.
But perhaps the most important element for Leishman heading to Erin Hills is a ‘statistic’ that can’t be measured: confidence.
His consistency in 2017 has been impressive with just two cuts missed and nine top-25 finishes in 15 starts.
He will be in his comfort zone this week flying under the radar, a state of affairs that suits his laidback personality, though he is well equipped to handle the attention that will come if he finds himself in contention come Sunday.
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