PAUL Leishman was late for work yesterday. But his boss didn’t mind.
The Warrnambool Golf Club pro-shop staffer had a good reason for not opening professional Craig Bonney’s shop until 8.30am — his son Marc had just won his first USPGA Tour event in Connecticut.
Paul was already awake when he got a call from his American-based daughter-in-law Audrey about 4am yesterday.
Audrey had phoned to urge him and wife Pelita to tune into the television coverage of the USPGA Tour event where her husband and their son Marc was storming into contention.
“Whenever he’s playing I find it hard to sleep,” Paul said yesterday.
“I had been following it on the computer and he was two-under after five and then Audrey called.”
The proud father wasn’t convinced Marc’s eight-under par 62 final round would be enough for victory, with the overnight leaders barely halfway through their rounds.
“I was thinking he might have been one or two short. That was my first thought with the leaders having so many holes to go.”
Paul said the pro-shop hadn’t stopped ringing yesterday with well-wishes.
“It’s been unbelievable.It’s great for Marc.”
He said not showing up for work had never entered his mind.
“I work every Monday, what else was I going to do?”
He said he got a call from Marc a couple of hours after the triumph with his son and good mate, Warrnambool caddie Matt Kelly, sharing a beer in the men’s locker room with a couple of other Australians.
Leishman was the name on south-west Victorians’ lips yesterday with Warrnambool City councillor Andrew Fawcett urging the city’s famous export to consider adopting a nickname.
“Marc Leishman should think about adopting the nickname “The Great Southern Right Whale” from Warrnambool after following “The Great White Shark” in becoming the second Aussie golfer to win the Travelers Championship in the U.S,” Cr Fawcett said in a text message to The Standard.
Liebig Street trader Taylor’s Surfodesy wasted little time in congratulating Leishman via a sign on the shop window.
The USPGA Tour’s website was inundated with messages of support for the 28-year-old, including many from the south-west.