Monday, June 25

Leishman Takes Two Weeks Off—And Wins

Marc Leishman won Travelers. (Allison)
TAKE TWO WEEKS OFF AND QUIT. That’s an old golf joke. But for Aussie Marc Leishman, taking two weeks off was no joke. After sitting out the FedEx St. Jude Classic and U.S. Open, Leishman won the Travelers Championship on Sunday, his first PGA Tour victory.

“I just had two weeks off, actually,” Leishman offered after his breakthrough. “I hardly touched the golf club.”

Yet when he touched it during Sunday’s final round, magical things happened. Leishman carded eight birdies and 10 pars, adding up to an eight-under-par 62. He only needed 24 putts to post a closing round that made up a six-shot deficit on the leaders, many of whom stumbled through the closing holes at TPC River Highlands.

“I didn’t think it [the closing 62] was going to be enough,” Leishman said. “Golf is a funny game, a really funny game.”

That’s gospel, but don’t tell that to Charley Hoffman. There was nothing funny (at least in a laughing sense) about Hoffman’s double bogey-bogey finish that handed 28-year-old Leishman his first win. Hoffman held a two-stroke lead with two holes to play before splashing his drive into the water. Nonetheless, he was still tied for the lead when he stepped onto the 18th tee.

But things went from worse to bad at the 444-yard par-4 hole. Hoffman called his play at the finishing hole “pretty pathetic,” saying it left a “bad taste in my mouth.”

Maybe Charlie needs some time away from the game. Perhaps two weeks.

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