20 questions with Marc Leishman


Arnold Palmer may have been missing on the 18th green at Bay Hill, but Marc Leishman was able to take solace from the sight of his wife Audrey and their two kids joining in his post-victory celebrations.

Almost two years ago, Leishman’s wife nearly died from toxic-shock syndrome – a life-threatening illness caused by an overgrowth of bacteria.

Leishman was forced to miss the 2015 Masters as he rushed to be by her bedside. Doctors only gave Audrey a 5% chance of survival, but she beat the odds and will now watch her husband tee it up at Augusta this year as the Arnold Palmer Invitational champion.

It was a late eagle on the 16th during Leishman’s final round that clinched the victory in a tournament that had a huge amount of dedicated tributes to Arnold Palmer.

Last summer, we caught up with the 33-year-old Australian at the Gary Player Invitational and discovered his love for Torrey Pines, Callaway wedges and Notting Hill…

20 Questions with Arnold Palmer Invitational Champion Marc Leishman

1 When did you first shoot under par?

I was 13. It was at my home course at Warrnambool Golf Club in Australia.

2 What has been your career highlight?

My two wins at Nedbank [Challenge] last year and then the Travelers in 2012. The Open last year is up there but it’s hard to judge a second against a win. 

3 The best shot of your career?

One of the best putts I ever hit was on the 17th on the final day [of the 2015 Open] at St Andrews. I was on the very front edge of the green and had about a 100ft. It just missed and finished a foot behind the hole. To do that under that pressure and take the stress out of the next one was awesome.

4 One mulligan you could have?

Probably my putt on 18 at St Andrews during the final round [of the 2015 Open]. It was a putt to win but I just misread it. 

5 Your favourite course on the PGA Tour?

Augusta or Torrey Pines. But if I had to play one course for the rest of my life, it would be Torrey Pines. It’s different every time and it’s in San Diego, a great city. 

6 Favourite course outside the US?

Kingston Heath in Australia or St Andrews. St Andrews is an amazing course, it’s in a cool town and 17, 18 and 1 are great holes.

7 Favourite holes?

I really like short par 4s and good risk-and-reward par 5s. I like the 5th at Muirfield Village because it’s so risk-reward. The 11th is also pretty impressive.

8 Best view in golf?

The 7th tee at Pebble Beach. You have the seals down on the rocks and it’s a cool spot. 

9 Favourite club(s)?

My driver and my lob wedge. The Callaway XR 16 driver is really good and the Mack Daddy wedges make you feel like you are cheating out of sand. 

10 Favourite non-golf sports event?

The Boxing Day Test match. I love cricket and it’s at a great time of the year at Melbourne, a wonderful venue. The Ashes and Tour de France are also great events.

11 Favourite sports team?

The Richmond Tigers. They are an AFL team in Australia.

12 Sportsman you look up to or admire?

I used to love watching Ricky Ponting bat and Shane Warne bowl. I looked up to Greg Norman as he was an Australian sporting icon and Ernie Els because I liked his easy-going demeanour and rhythm. 

13 And sportswoman?

Serena Williams. She’s one of the most dominant sports people ever.

14 Any superstitions?

Not now. I never used to use number four golf balls but now I’m using Callaway balls, that’s not the case anymore.

15 Favourite movie?

The Taken movies are great but I really like romantic comedies; kind of weird I know. Notting Hill I love and The Holiday as well. 

16 Not to be missed TV show?

I don’t watch a lot of TV as I’m travelling so much. Dexter was a great show and I’ve been watching Breaking Bad too.

17 Favourite musician or band?

Growing up I was into Green Day and Good Charlotte. Now it’s whatever’s on the radio. As long as it’s not rap, I will listen to it.

18 Favourite holiday destination?

Mexico. It’s an amazing place and I love Mexican food.

19 Who’d be in your dream foursome?

My dad would be one, and probably my partner. Ricky Ponting and some kind of movie star, probably Liam Neeson.

20 Your dream Tour fourball?

Greg Norman, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods. 

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