Leishman on course after Masters effort
Marc Leishman does not credit his stellar performance at this year's US Masters as the turning point in what has been an impressive 2013.
The Victorian tied for fourth at Augusta this year behind Queenslander Adam Scott.
While it was a great effort in the world's most prestigious tournament, Leishman said it was two rounds a fortnight beforehand at the humble Shell Houston Open, where he shot a pair of 75s and missed the cut, that flicked the switch.
"That gave me a bit of a reality check because I thought I was hitting the ball well there," the 30-year-old said.
"So I just practised smarter leading into the Masters and ended up going well."
The man from the Victorian town of Warrnambool is yet to win a tournament this year, but rates it his best season since breaking on to the professional circuit in 2006.
After his breakthrough Masters performance, Leishman had top-15 finishes at the RBC Heritage, The Players Championship (regarded as the fifth major), the Byron Nelson Championship and the US PGA.
He then recorded a 1-up win over world No.8 Matt Kuchar as the Internationals went down to the US in last month's President Cup.
Given that record, it is little wonder Leishman is full of confidence going into the Australian PGA Championship, which starts today at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, and the Australian Masters, which starts at Royal Melbourne on November 14.
"I love Royal Melbourne," Leishman said.
"I played there a lot when I was an amateur.
"I've also played at Royal Pines before in the Australian 4-Ball Championship. I like that course and have good memories there."
World No.2 Scott, No.9 Brandt Snedeker and No.36 Rickie Fowler headline a top-class Australian PGA Championship field.
"Adam is tough to beat in every tournament and Rickie has had a solid year too," Leishman, the world No.68, said.
"It's definitely a good field when you include the Australians too, but every-one starts at zero."