MOST golfers put a premium on putting and short game at Augusta National.
For Marc Leishman, it's all about the driver.
The Warrnambool-raised golfer knows his long-range hitting needs to be tip-top to taste success at the upcoming US Masters, which is scheduled for April 7.
Leishman will enter the tournament full of confidence after a stellar 2021-22 campaign.
For me, it's more my driving. If I can be hitting fairways I feel like if I can have my driver and tee game under control that's big for me.- Marc Leishman
Seven of the 38-year-old's nine starts have netted top-20 finishes, with his best tied-for-third finishes at the Shriners Children's Open and QBE Shootout in October and December.
But he knows The Masters, the most prestigious tournament on the PGA Tour calendar, is a different beast.
"I think for most people, it's putting a short game that has to be going well around there," he told The Standard.
"For me, it's more my driving. If I can be hitting fairways - my irons are generally pretty good, my putting and chipping is generally pretty good - I feel like if I can have my driver and tee game under control that's big for me.
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"It can be a big positive. I'm already thinking about that. I was testing 3-woods last week for Augusta so I've got one ready to go and I'll probably put that in the bag (for the Arnold Palmer Invitational) to get those big draws happening."
In the meantime, the Virginia Beach-based talent is plying his trade at Bay Hill's Arnold Palmer Invitational. Leishman was tied for 21st after round one as The Standard went to print on Friday night. Northern Ireland's Rory McIroy was leading at -7.
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