Sunday, December 06, 2015

Aussie Marc Leishman cruises to six-stroke

win in South Africa's Nedbank Challenge


Australian Marc Leishman cruised to a brilliant victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa with an impressive five under par 67 in the final round to finish a turbulent year on a high.
Marc is pictured right with trophy, courtesy of Getty Images(c).
The 32-year-old’s wife was seriously ill in April – he had to leave the Masters to be by her side – and he lost an uncle, while on the course he was beaten in a play-off for The Open Championship in July.
But, having taken a one-shot lead into the last round at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa he produced a wonderful back nine to hold off World Number 7 Henrik Stenson and win by six strokes with a 19 under par total of 269, afterwards saying the US$1.25million first prize will help pay for his new house in Australia.
Stenson, who was bed-bound with a virus in the build-up to the event, closed with a level par 72, while Englishman Chris Wood rose into third place with a 68.
Marc Leishman
“Golf’s a lot easier when you don't have to make up lost ground, especially on this golf course where there's trouble everywhere. I was really happy to not have too many bogeys. I definitely found out where the trouble was in the practice round.
“I knew it was going to be a really tough day, I knew I had to play well. Henrik is an awesome player and I knew he’d make me earn it, which he did. I'm really pleased that I could play as well as I did and have a little bit of a buffer there at the end.
“I’m pretty happy to have this year over, to be honest. Audrey got very sick and I lost an uncle who I was very close to. This tops off what was otherwise not a great year. Three weeks ago we moved into a new house, so this will help pay for that.”
Henrik Stenson
“I’ll take it, looking at the bigger picture. With the chances I’ve had this year, to be winless is a little disappointing but all in all it’s been a solid year and I’ve got to look at the good results I made and the amount of world ranking points and all the rest of it. Of course I’d like to be holding the trophy, and I had a nice chance here. "Obviously dropping a few coming in yesterday made it harder. It’s always harder to make those up on a Sunday – I would rather have been one ahead than one behind going into the last round.
“Marc played really solidly and shot five under on a tricky day. I didn’t start off that great, came back a little in the middle of the round and needed something spectacular towards the end, and I couldn’t do that. All credit to him for the win – he’s a deserving champion."
Chris Wood
“It’s hard to believe at the moment. On Tuesday night I was on a drip for 13 hours and there was no chance of me playing, given the way I felt. I was wheeled through the hotel in a wheelchair and tucked into bed by three men – two doctors and a guy from the hotel. I was in a bad way. So whatever the result was I was just glad to be playing, so to finish third is amazing.
“The heat just got me on Sunday on Monday and I had to pull out of the pro-am on Tuesday and then didn’t hit a shot until Thursday. I was pretty weak but the doctors have been monitoring me each day and I managed to complete four rounds which I never thought I would.
“I’ve enjoyed the whole week. It’s an incentive to start our year here and gives you a good step forward going into 2016, and especially with it being a Ryder Cup year. Probably for the last ten years Danny (Willett) and I have followed similar paths and we always push each other on. 

"Seeing him win last year when I had a cast on my broken wrist was a massive incentive to work hard and get back stronger.”
Russell Knox, making his debut as a European Tour member, had an up-and-down tournament - two good rounds in the 60s, two poor rounds in the high 70s for a one-over-par total of 289, 20 behind winner Leishman


par 288 (4x72)
269 M Leishman (Aus) 68 68 66 67
275 H Stenson (Swe) 66 67 70 72
279 C Wood  (Eng) 70 71 70 68
280 R Streb (USA) 69 66 72 73, D Willett  (Eng) 67 75 70 68, B Grace  (RSA) 68 74 67 71, V Dubuisson  (Fra) 71 73 68 68
281 B An (SKor) 72 70 71 68
282 C Schwartzel  (RSA) 71 74 67 70, T Jaidee (Tha) 70 72 69 71,
283 E Grillo (Arg) 72 69 73 69, L Oosthuizen  (RSA) 70 72 68 73,
284 J Van Zyl (RSA) 66 68 72 78, T Aiken (RSA) 73 69 72 70,
285 R Fisher (Eng) 69 71 73 72
286 A Sullivan (Eng) 71 71 70 74, M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) 69 77 68 72, K Bradley (USA) 72 69 73 72, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 70 68 73 75,
287 S Piercy (USA) 73 68 72 74
288 T Fleetwood  (Eng) 71 72 73 72, M Jimenez (Esp) 70 72 75 71,W Simpson (USA) 75 72 72 69
289 R Knox (Sco) 69 76 68 76
290 M Kaymer (Ger) 75 71 72 72, B Wiesberger  (Aut) 70 71 68 81, S Lowry  (Irl) 74 71 70 75,
300 L Westwood (Eng) 72 81 72 75,
305 S Kjeldsen (Den) 74 81 77 73,
307 S Bowditch (Aus) 77 78 77 75,




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