AN ISOLATED Wisconsin course laden with rough grass and generous fairways has Warrnambool’s Marc Leishman confident of notching his first golf major.
The 33-year-old believes his in-form short game will be vital to US Open success at the Erin Hills Golf Course, a venue which has drawn criticism from fellow Australian Adam Scott and countless other professionals for its punishing rough.
But Leishman, fresh off glory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and two top-20 finishes at the Memorial Tournament and Byron Nelson event, is optimistic leading in.
“Generally the US Open isn’t one of my favourite tournaments, but this course is a bit different to a usual US Open course,” he told The Standard.
If you’re in the rough, you’ll be out of the tournament pretty quickly.Marc Leishman
“I’m definitely more excited about it than I have been in the past.
“The year has been going well so far, I’ve been happy with my golf and we’re getting some good results.”
The Virginia Beach resident, whose wife Audrey is expecting the couple’s third child, said the course would require “imagination”.
“There are enough good players here that you’ll have to play well, but I think it’ll require a lot of imagination around the greens,” Leishman said.
“That’s something I usually have a lot of so I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s definitely a unique course and there is lots of rough, but I’ll have to keep it on the short stuff.
“If you’re in the rough, you’ll be out of the tournament pretty quickly.”
Leishman is currently ranked 35th in the world on the back of a career-best start to 2017.
He has notched about $2,656,700 in prizemoney after a string of success.
Leishman is expected to tee off about 3am Australian time on Friday.