Marc Leishman says he no choice but to go “nuts” in the final round of the Masters given how far back he is of runaway leader Scottie Scheffler.
World No.43 Leishman ground out an impressive one-under 71 in cold and windy conditions at Augusta National to improve his total to three-over-par. But when signing his scorecard, the Australian was 13 shots behind world No.1 Scheffler.
But six-time PGA Tour winner Leishman has vowed to aggressively fire at almost every flag on Sunday and see if he can break the record lowest final round in Masters history. That is a 64 shared by seven players including Greg Norman (1988) and Jordan Spieth (2018).
“I think my No.1 goal is to try and shoot 60,” Leishman told Australian Golf Digest. “Why not? I think weather is going to be good, the Sunday pins are usually inviting. I’ll try and go nuts and try and have a day out. There’s freedom in being this far back of the lead. Hopefully I can get off to good start and shoot 60.”
The 38-year-old Leishman said there was plenty to play for apart from winning, which looks a fait accompli for Scheffler given he had no issues closing out PGA Tour victories at the Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Match Play during the past six weeks.
The two biggest bonuses are that Augusta National invites the top 12 finishers to the following year’s Masters. The other carrot is if Leishman can backdoor a top-10 result it would secure at least $US405,000 payday.
“I’ll try and sneak into that top 12 and try to lock up a start in the Masters for next year,” he said. “There’s a lot of money on the line. There’s also lot of Fedex Cup points and world rankings points up for grabs.
“But more than anything, it’s just so cool to be here and play in front of big crowds. Giving the galleries something to cheer about would be a motivation even if there were no dollars on line.”
A shot down the leaderboard of Leishman was countryman Min Woo Lee (72) at four over.
Australian Cam Davis (78) was languishing at 11 over for three rounds while 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott (79) sat at 12 over.
“It’s cold, so it’s making the course play as long as it possibly can at the moment … I certainly made it look difficult,” Scott said with a laugh.
Added Cam Davis: “My family’s here, so I might spend some time with them. They’ll definitely remind me that what I’m doing right now is pretty cool. I’m playing in a tournament that I’ve always wanted to.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Yeah, I think that’s why you don’t wear thick (clothing). You just wear a lot of layers. It’s important to layer up, and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve got plenty of layers on. I feel like the Michelin man at the moment (laughter).” – Marc Leishman, on the difficulty of dressing warm but without restricting his golf swing.