Marc Leishman came close to pulling off a miracle victory at the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship in Connecticut today, but his thoughts were with the family of a close friend afterwards.
Leishman shot a stunning 66 to post 12-under and for a time at TPC River Highlands, it looked like he might either reach a playoff or even win the event outright, a little like he did in the same tournament in 2012.
He held the clubhouse lead for several hours but just when he headed to the driving range to warm up again, Harris English buried a birdie putt from almost 10 metres on the par-four 18th hole to post 13-under.
By the time Kramer Hickok matched English’ birdie at the 18th to force a playoff, Leishman was down to third place, having to be content with $US510,000 prizemoney.
“I knew that I needed to have a really low one to have a chance,” he said after his round.
“Probably think that birdie on 17, possibly 18, may have helped my chances a lot. Would’ve helped my chances a lot. That’s pretty obvious. Yeah, happy with the day. I mean, game is feeling really good. Nice to make a run and be around the lead. Not holding my breath, but I won’t be going anywhere.”
The Australian said he had endured a “tough day” after the death of John Mascatello, his US agent, aged 61. “(I) was definitely thinking about that and trying to — it was kind of — made things a little — golf is obviously not the be all end all.
“Thinking of his family. Not getting over the line or who knows, but probably not getting over the line, yeah, that’s kind of irrelevant at the moment.”
Cameron Smith fell away on the final day having started out with a winning chance, shooting a 74 to dip to tied-30th, while Adam Scott vaulted up to tied-13th with a 67 today.
Jason Day finished tied-10th after a closing 70 while Lucas Herbert (69) completed a good week in 19th place.
[PHOTO Getty Images]