Aussies on Tour: Leishman leads the way at Travelers Championship


It was billed as Jason Day’s unlikely return to the winner’s circle yet it was Marc Leishman who came from the clouds to be the best of the Aussies at the PGA TOUR’s Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

A breakthrough victory by Junseok Lee at the Kolon 63rd Korea Open – the richest event on the Korean PGA Tour – was the standout performance by an Australian this week but the attention was focused intently on TPC River Highlands and a host of Aussies in contention.

Battling a back injury and hay fever, Day held the 36-hole lead at the Travelers Championship as he sought to end a three-year winless streak and started the final round in a share of third one stroke back.

A second consecutive round of even-par 70 would see Day fall into a tie for 10th as Leishman rose from the pack with a final round of 6-under 64.

Tied for 17th at the start of the final round, Leishman made birdie at one, four six and nine to charge up the leaderboard and was well and truly in the hunt after birdies at 13 and 15.

Knowing that 12-under might not be enough, Leishman took an aggressive line with his approach shot at the 72nd hole and found the greenside bunker, recalling Jordan Spieth’s 2017 playoff heroics as he sought one final birdie.

“Definitely thought about Spieth there,” Leishman said, Spieth holing out from the same bunker to win in spectacular fashion four years ago.

“I said to Matty (Kelly, Leishman’s caddie), it’s probably the most makeable bunker shot I’ve had in five years.

“If all I do is get it out of the bunker there was a little downslope and then back up to the hole, so I was thinking about making it.

“Thought I had made it there for a little bit.”

The 2012 Travelers Championship was Leishman’s first on the PGA TOUR. He came storming home from six strokes back in the final round and was trying to channel that performance again nine years later.

“It’s just a hard place to lead at because it’s that sort of golf course where there is trouble everywhere,” Leishman added.

“That’s kind of an interesting thing about this course. One, two, three, six and seven are all birdie holes, so if you get out two, three hours before the leaders you can get ahead of them early and put a little bit pressure on them, make them have to push.

“Every time I’ve seemed to have played well here I’ve come from behind. I guess you play a lot freer when you’re behind.

“It’s nice to be able to do that and have a little less pressure.”

Like Leishman, Adam Scott (67) made a significant move up the leaderboard in the final round to finish tied for 13th – equal to his best result since January – and Lucas Herbert (69) took advantage of his effort to Monday qualify to finish tied for 19th.

A double-bogey at the par-3 eighth and a triple at the par-4 12th brought Cameron Smith’s hopes undone as he fell from a share of third to a tie for 30th with a Sunday 74, Matt Jones (73) and Cameron Percy (70) also playing all four rounds.

Elsewhere this week Grace Kim continued her impressive progression towards a professional career by finishing tied for 10th in her maiden start on the Symetra Tour as rookie Gabi Ruffels finished as the best of the Aussies at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

PGA TOUR

Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut

Winner Harris English                     67-68-67-65—267             $US1.332m

3              Marc Leishman                 69-66-69-64—268             $510,600

T10         Jason Day                            69-62-70-70—271             $186,850

T13         Adam Scott                         69-69-67-67—272             $132,583

T19         Lucas Herbert                    70-67-67-69—273             $87,690

T30         Cameron Smith                 67-68-66-74—275             $45,325

T36         Matt Jones                         70-66-67-73—276             $30,743

T54         Cameron Percy                 70-66-72-70—278             $17,094

MC         Danny Lee                           71-69—140

KPGA Tour

Kolon 63rd Korea Open

Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, Cheonan, Korea

Winner Junseok Lee       66-69-70-71—276             KRW400m

T56         Kevin Chun        74-69-74-79—296             KRW5m

MC         Wonjoon Lee     80-74—154

LPGA Tour

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Atlanta Athletic Club, John’s Creek, Georgia

Winner Nelly Korda         70-63-68-68—269             $US675,000

T33         Gabriela Ruffels 76-65-72-75—288             $28,229

T40         Minjee Lee         73-72-74-70—289             $21,587

T52         Lydia Ko               72-72-74-73—291             $14,442

63           Su Oh                    73-72-75-74—294             $10,775

MC         Sarah Kemp        78-69—147

MC         Katherine Kirk    78-70—148

MC         Hannah Green  72-76—148

European Tour

BMW International Open

Golfclub München Eichenried, Munich, Germany

Winner Viktor Hovland                  68-67-64-70—269             €229,650

T14         Ryan Fox                              70-72-66-69—277             €21,175

T26         Scott Hend                          73-68-72-66—279             €14,584

T29         Josh Geary                          69-71-71-69—280             €12,365

T42         Min Woo Lee                     66-73-69-74—282             €7,994

T55         Wade Ormsby                   65-75-75-69—284             €5,438

T60         Maverick Antcliff              70-69-73-73—285             €4,967

MC         Dimitrios Papadatos       67-77—144

MC         Deyen Lawson                   75-72—147

MC         Jake McLeod                      74-77—151

MC         Elvis Smylie                         76-75—151

Japan Golf Tour

Dunlop SRIXON Fukushima Open

Grandee Nasushirakawa Golf Club, Fukushima

Winner Ryosuke Kinoshita           70-66-65-62—263             ¥10,000,000

T37         Scott Strange                     71-68-69-67—275             ¥245,000

T41         Andrew Evans                   64-71-73-68—276             ¥200,000

Korn Ferry Tour

Live and Work in Maine Open

Falmouth Country Club, Falmouth, Maine

Winner Chad Ramey                       67-65-68-68—268             $US108,000

T30         Jamie Arnold                      67-70-69-73—279             $3,638

T41         Nick Voke                            71-69-74-66—280             $2,910

MC         Mark Hensby                     71-70—141

MC         Brett Drewitt                     72-73—145

MC         Harrison Endycott            75-71—146

Challenge Tour

Open de Bretagne

Golf Bluegreen de Pléneuf Val André, Pleneuf, France

Winner Julien Brun          64-68-66-69—267             €32,000

T23         Daniel Hillier       66-69-70-72—277             €1,820

Ladies European Tour

Tipsport Czech Ladies Open

Golf Club Beroun, Beroun, Czech Republic

Winner Atthaya Thitikul 68-68-65—201   €30,000

T11         Stephanie Kyriacou         70-69-68—207   €3,916

MC         Whitney Hillier                   72-73—145

MC         Amy Walsh                          79-81—160

Symetra Tour

Prasco Charity Championship

TPC River’s Bend, Cincinnati, Ohio

Winner Meghan MacLaren          68-70-69—207   $US26,250

T10         Grace Kim (a)                     68-72-71—211   —–

T47         Soo Jin Lee                          68-76-77—221   $881

MC         Stephanie Na                     74-75—149

MC         Julienne Soo                       69-80—149

MC         Hira Naveed                       71-79—150

MC         Robyn Choi                         78-76—154

MC         Julianne Alvarez                83-77—160

Champions Tour

Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship

Firestone CC (South Course), Akron, Ohio

Winner Steve Stricker                    63-68-72-70—273

T7           Rod Pampling                    70-75-69-70—284

T42         John Senden                      74-74-74-71—293

T52         David McKenzie                 73-74-74-75—296

T52         Stephen Leaney                 70-72-76-78—296                            


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