MARC Leishman is usually cool under pressure but he was far from calm as he played a waiting game this week.
The Warrnambool golfer will make his Presidents Cup debut next month after international team supremo Nick Price used one of two captain’s picks to include Leishman in the 12-player side.
The 29-year-old’s selection is his first representative honour as a professional, meaning he will take on a USA side at Muirfield Village in Ohio next month.
The top-10 players in the standings after Tuesday morning’s final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship were automatic selections but Leishman was 12th. That left him sweating for more than 24 hours as Price considered the final two places.
“I wasn’t nervous until yesterday,” Leishman told The Standard.
“I was fine but then sitting around waiting … Nick said he was going to let me know. I was expecting the call and expecting the worst.
“I thought I was a really good chance of getting a pick. You always hope for the best but expect the worst.”
Leishman, who represented Australia several times as an amateur at both junior and senior level, said he was excited about joining the rest of the world team against the Americans.
He played himself into the team with a seven-under 64 in the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, which set up a top-20 finish. His tie for 16th in the event, the second of the US PGA Tour play-off series, took him from 13th in the international team standings to 12th.
The result also guaranteed Leishman a start in next week’s penultimate play-off series event, the BMW Championship, after he jumped from 76th to 58th in the standings.
“I feel like I have played pretty good this year but looking at the Fed Ex Cup standings you wouldn’t think, so it’s nice to get to the BMW. I guess I have played well in the bigger events.”
Leishman’s inclusion in the Presidents Cup means he will have a shorter break between US PGA Tour seasons.
Leishman joined Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge, who was 14th in the standings, as Price’s captain’s picks. They will team up with Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day, South Africans Charl Schwartzel , Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace and Richard Sterne, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, Canadian Graham DeLaet and Argentina’s Angel Cabrera.
American captain Fred Couples opted to add Webb Simpson and tour rookie Jordan Spieth.