Tour News

Leishman's strong start at Sentry TOC

Leishman well placed despite late hiccup. (Photo: Bruce Young)
Marc Leishman is just two shots from the leader, Kevin Tway, after the opening round of the PGA Tour’s 2019 year opening event at the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua Resort in Hawaii, but he will be ruing a double bogey at the par 4 17th hole after moving within one of the lead with one hole to play.

Leishman moved to 6 under for the day through 16 holes and at that point was within one of leader Kevin Tway who was out in the second group of the day and put together an opening round of 66 on the par 73 layout to take the early lead.

He made a mess of the 17th but he was able to bounce back at the 18th with a birdie from 12 feet to move back within two. 

Leishman played well early in this event last year in fact he shared the lead through 36 holes before finishing 7th and today gave an indication that he might well improve on that this week.

“I played really good all day and then just hit a terrible tee shot on 17,” said Leishman.

“You miss that fairway, you deserve to be where I was. And I had that chance to make the bogey, which would have been a great bogey, but double was pretty disappointing. But to come back, make that putt on 18 makes you feel a little better."

Playing in windy conditions as was the case today is not unfamiliar to Leishman having grown p on the exposed southern coast of Victoria in Australia.

“No, I mentally enjoy the challenge of it. I played in it a lot. I enjoy playing in it. I guess the more you do it, when you grow up in certain conditions you feel comfortable in those conditions and do decently good at it.

“So it worked out all right today that I played good in the wind. And not sure what it's meant to do the rest of the week, but it would be nice if it stays like this or maybe a little less wind would be better."

Tway has also had experience in windy conditions and paid homage to his heritage and golfing upbringing when reflecting on his ability to play in the wind.  

“I played good," said the leader. "Not feeling well, but yeah, I hit the ball well, kept the ball in play, made a few putts, controlled my ball in the wind. It's windy where I'm from in Oklahoma so it's kind of like I was at home.

“Yeah. I played a few holes in the pro-am yesterday and then hole 5 it kind of felt like I was walking on a water bed the whole hole and so I withdrew from the pro-am, went to the doctor, had like an ear infection and sinus infection. So got some pills and feel a little bit better today but still a little dizzy.

“I had been here once before with dad, but I was like 16, so I remember the holes a little bit. But, yeah, dad kind of told me little wide fairway so it should suit my game and the winds, I also like that. So, yeah, it played about like how I saw on TV."

Jason Day is the only other Australian in the field and did well to be in a share of 6th place at 4 under and three from the lead and is enjoying the opportunity to introduce his growing family to the golfing world.

“I've actually got the family here,” said Day referring to the arrival of his new baby recently. “I've actually got the whole crew here, which is very expensive, but it's good to have them on the road again.

“My boy just out of school, so for us to enjoy, with all the miscarriage that Ellie went through and then the new baby, we're very blessed and it's been a nice little get away. Obviously after the second half of last year wasn't the greatest for me and to be able to focus on something else with the baby coming into our arms now, it's nice to be able to change the priorities.”

Tway leads the event but two of the pre-tournament favourites, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas are just one shot behind in a share of second place with Gary Woodland.



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