AUGUSTA, Ga. – Marc Leishman’s best finish at The Masters was a tie for fourth place in 2013. The Virginia Beach resident earned an invite to Augusta National that year by way of his win at the 2012 PGA Tour Travelers Championship. In 2017, Leishman hopes momentum again helps him hit his “Marc” at The Masters.
Last month, Leishman earned a spot in the 2017 Masters Tournament by winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Since that victory, the 27th ranked player in the world finished tied for 9th at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play – moving him into the top 10 of the FedEx Cup standings.
After skipping the Shell Houston Open last week, Leishman says he used his time away from competitive rounds to work on his short game.
“Your short game is so important around Augusta,” Leishman told News 3. “I concentrated on that part of my game while enjoying the [Arnold Palmer Invitational] victory at the same time!”
His T4 result in 2013 is Leishman’s lone success at Augusta National Golf Club. He’s missed the cut in his other three appearances at The Masters (2010, 2014, 2016).
“The most important thing is concentrating on making as many birdies as possible, but not hitting it into any terrible positions,” Leishman told News 3 when asked about the key to success at The Masters. “I need to be prepared mentally and hit aggressive shots to conservative targets. To do that, you need to know where you can & can’t miss – which is why experience is so important at Augusta. If you do hit it into bad spots that’s where the short game comes into it.”
For rounds one and two of the 2017 Masters Tournament, Leishman is paired with Americans Bill Haas and Justin Thomas. The group will tee off at 1:52pm eastern time Thursday and 10:45am Friday.
Prior to beginning his fifth Masters appearance, Leishman will participate in the Par 3 contest Wednesday, an annual tradition at Augusta National.
“The par 3 tournament is awesome,” Leishman said. “It’s the one time a year when your family really gets a taste of what it’s like inside the ropes. I don’t think it helps with anything (related to easing anxiety about golf’s greatest tournament), it’s just an awesome day and takes your mind off the tournament for a few hours.”
Wednesday’s Par 3 Contest was canceled for the first time in the event’s history. However, Leishman’s family was able to dress-up in their “caddie” outfits and get a few holes.
You can watch The Masters on News 3. WTKR will air Masters highlights Thursday and Friday at 11:35pm, in addition to live coverage of rounds three and four Saturday (3pm) and Sunday (2pm).