After an under the radar performance at the Farmers Insurance Open, Marc Leishman heads to Arizona this week with unfinished business to take care of at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The laid-back Victorian entered last year’s final round at TPC Scottsdale sharing seventh place and while five behind the leader was still a legitimate chance to contend.
However, a 2-over 73 on Sunday saw him slide down the standings and ultimately record an unsatisfying T24 finish.
It was the continuation of a pattern to that stage of the year for Leishman who just six weeks later claimed the Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament before embarking on the best season of his Professional career.
A vastly different player in 2018, Leishman has already shown steady form in the new wraparound season and having proven his liking for the TPC Scottsdale layout will be one to watch this week.
Leishman is one of six Australasians in the field alongside former winner Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Cameron Smith, Geoff Ogilvy and New Zealand’s Danny Lee.
Baddeley has the best record of the group having won the title in 2007, the second of four career PGA TOUR victories.
The two-time Australian Open winner has had an indifferent start to this season with four missed cuts from seven starts, including last week at Torrey Pines.
Baddeley has a mixed history at TPC Scottsdale having missed the cut six times in 15 attempts and registering no top-10’s outside his victory.
New Zealand’s Danny Lee has an even more bizarre record at the tournament having made the cut just once in five starts but parlaying that weekend into an outright fourth place finish.
Lee is yet to find his rhythm in the new year though will be pleased to have broken a run of three straight missed cuts in qualifying for the weekend at Torrey Pines.
A final round 78 was obviously disappointing but scores of 69-71-73 will be a source of encouragement heading to TPC Scottsdale, a course which historically gives up much lower scoring.
After a missed cut and T42 in two previous appearances, Cameron Smith will be looking to improve on his record after another solid week in California.
Smith never looked at his best at Torrey Pines but showed great determination to climb into the top-20 by week’s end and is due to put together four good rounds.
Geoff Ogilvy and Greg Chalmers both have somewhat chequered histories at TPC Scottsdale, Ogilvy making 10 cuts in 15 starts though never cracking the top-10 while Chalmers has a best of T15 in 10 attempts.
Headlines at a glance
Wild weather no issue for Rankin and Kulacz
Brett Rankin and Rick Kulacz have broken the streak of wins set by South Australian players on the Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series, sitting equal on top of th...
Becker back on winner’s list at Leeton Pro-Am
Braden Becker has returned to the winner’s list at the SunRice Leeton Pro-Am in the opening tournament of the NSW/ACT swing of the Ladbrokes Pro...
Scott Hend wins the 2019 Maybank Championship
Queensland’s Scott Hend has survived a thunderstorm, a birdie bomb from Nacho Elvira and twice tangled with the trees before claiming the Mayban...