Marc Leishman Travelers up to world no. 78
June 25, 2012
Marc Leishman made his maiden journey into the PGA Tour winner’s circle at the Traveler’s Championship on Sunday after a super 62 saw him take the title at TPC River Highlands. Starting as many as six behind on the final round, the Australian fired eight birdies to climb into the mix, but having signed his card after the round he felt sure he would fall one or two short of the ‘W’. However, both Bubba Watson and Charley Hoffman struggled coming home, and when the latter finished double bogey-bogey to fritter away a comprehensive lead and miss out by one it was Leishman’s title. An awesome display from the Australian, and as a result he now finds himself back in the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in over a year, sitting comfortably at number 78.
Danny Willett added his own maiden success in Cologne at the BMW International Open after defeating Marcus Fraser in a titanic four hole play-off. The young Englishman started the day one shot clear of the chasing pack, but a one over par round of 73 allowed Australia’s Fraser to catch the young man from Sheffield. Three holes of sudden death failed to separate them, but when Willett piled the pressure on with a superb pitch at 18 to secure his par, Fraser faltered from across the green to miss from five feet and hand Willett BMW glory. The win acts as proof of the promise that Willett emerged out on Tour with four or five years ago, and sees him climb back to the cusp of the world’s top 100 after a jump of 81 places into 115th spot.
Lee In-woo fired three rounds in the 60s to close out the inaugural Volvik Hildesheim Open J Golf Series and claim his maiden Asian Tour title by a stroke from compatriot Lee Sang-hee and 13-time Tour champ Thaworn Wiratchant. Lee is now eyeing more success on the circuit having taken up membership, and he will hope for more of the same for the rest of 2012, as he looks to build on his world ranking of 454 after a staggering jump of some 816 places.
Australian Brad Kennedy shot a 6-under 66 on Sunday to win his first tournament in Japan at the Mizuno Open while earning a place at next month's Open Championship. The 38-year-old Kennedy carded four birdies on the front nine at the JFE Setonaikai Golf Club and added three more after the turn against a lone bogey on the par 4 12th. He finished at 17-under-par 271, three strokes ahead of Toshinori Muto and Toru Taniguchi.
Casey Wittenberg became the first multiple champ on the 2012 Nationwide Tour when he claimed his second title of the season at the 23rd Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open. Starting the day behind overnight leader Jim Herman, Wittenberg stayed in touch with some early birdies on Sunday, but the tide truly swing in his favour when the leading Herman dunked one in the water at 15 en route to a double bogey, and when a three-putt followed at the next it was Wittenberg’s to win, and he duly did. This victory comes just a week after a fine tie for tenth at the US Open Championship, and while moving him up to 154th in the world, it also sees Wittenberg climb one step closer to his PGA Tour card for next season.
Sam Walker made it Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts title number two after a tense three hole play-off with compatriot Simon Wakefield. With the final round unable to be completed after heavy overnight rain, the duo tied at the top took to the 18th hole to decide who would claim victory in sudden death. Pars followed on the first two holes, but it proved third time lucky for Walker who birdied to become the first multiple winner of the event, having won the inaugural staging back in 2006. As a result he moves to sixth on The Challenge Tour Rankings, and climbs 219 places in the world up into 295th position, his highest in over two years.
Michael Gligic won his maiden Canadian Tour title at the ATB Financial Classic presented by TELUS after a hard fought play-off victory over Matt Marshall. Faced with a three footer for the win at the first extra hole, Gligic conspired to miss the putt left, but he would get a second bite at it when Marshall struggled to a bogey next time round leaving the stage clear for Gligic to wrap up the win and with it climb inside the top 750 in the World after a jump of 639 places to equal 741st.