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Marc Leishman trending ahead of Phoenix

MARC Leishman is trending in all the right directions and hopes his form propels him to victory in Phoenix.

MARC Leishman is trending in all the right directions and hopes his form propels him to victory in Phoenix.

Fresh off a fifth-placed finish in Hawaii and a tie for second at Torrey Pines last week the 30-year-old is primed to continue his hot form at TPC Scottsdale.

Leishman was tied 11th at the Australian PGA and tied seventh at the Australian Masters prior to Hawaii so his form is significant.

"I've been fifth and second this year so it is certainly something to build on and hopefully I keep trending in the right direction this week," Leishman told AAP.

"I am driving the ball better than I probably ever have and I feel comfortable over every club, which is fairly rare for a golfer.

"Every time I am over the ball I feel like I am going to hit a very good shot, which is vital to playing well."

The affable Victorian won rookie of the year honours in 2009 on the US PGA tour but it failed to bring serious recognition or respect from the golfing mainstream in the USA.

Even his maiden win in 2012, where he shot a stunning 62 in the final round and then waited as countless players behind him faltered, seemingly wasn't enough for many pundits who instead spoke of the collapses rather than his great play.

But after leading the 2013 Masters through the first round and contending all week before being tied fourth finally his stocks stared to rise.

A Presidents Cup captains pick solidified his growing stature as did a clutch singles performance against reigning world match play champion Matt Kuchar where he won by burying a clutch 14-foot putt on the last hole to keep his teams slim chances alive.

And now, at a career high 57th in the world, he's knocking on the door of upcoming World Golf Championship events, including the match play championship, where he can once again prove his worth against the games best.

"It's great to be close to locked up for match play," he said.

"My goal is obviously to be playing all the big events."

Fellow Australians Robert Allenby, Aaron Baddeley, Steven Bowditch, Greg Chalmers, Matt Jones and Geoff Ogilvy join Leishman this week where Phil Mickelson may or may not defend due to a back injury.

Mickelson went one horseshoe lip out putt from a magical 59 on his way to victory last year.

To continue his upward trend Leishman will have to buck his history on the course where he's missed two from four cuts and placed no higher that 19th.

"I think I can improve in my past performances here because I am driving the ball better. I am not known for how many fairways I hit and I know that but I am hitting a lot more than I have in the past," he said.

"If you miss them here you're in the cactus so I need to keep the accuracy going.

"I am looking forward to the week and hopefully will go one better than last week."


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