Marc Leishman took giant strides towards his goal of turning Australia’s ‘big two’ golfers into a big three with a runner-up finish at the British Open.
A phenomenal final two-round burst of 64 and 66 pushed the Victorian into a playoff for the Claret Jug, but he ultimately fell short as Zach Johnson prevailed in a three-way play-off that also included Louis Oosthuizen.
While world No.9 Jason Day – who finished in a tie for fourth with Jordan Spieth, one shot off the leading trio – and No.11 Adam Scott, who came equal 10th, take most of the headlines in Australian golf, Leishman is hoping his play can one day have him in the same conversations.
“Obviously Jason seems to be up there in every major. Scotty is Scotty, he’s always up there, as well,” he said.
“I’m obviously a little disappointed with today’s result but hopefully I can get up there with them a bit more often and try and win a few more tournaments.
“I’ve never really put four really good rounds together like that. That’s probably the best I’ve played.
“I’ve probably putted better, I’ve probably driven it better, I’ve hit my irons better, but put all together, that’s probably the best week that I’ve had.”
Day entered the tournament with seven top-10 finishes at majors – three of which he had been runner-up in.
So to get so close without winning again would surely have annoyed Day, but he maintained a positive outlook afterwards.
“I missed a couple of birdies. I made some other errors,” Day said.
“If you look at that (second round incident where heavy wind saw Day make two bogeys before play was suspended) you are just being negative.
“You can’t look at it that way.
“As soon as you look at things in a negative light you are going to go backwards so I have to keep looking at the positives.
“I gave myself chances out there. A couple of holes I wish I would have liked some shots back, but that’s just part and parcel of playing.
“I’ve been working very hard to try and accomplish my first major, and you know, it’s a little frustrating with how it finished.
“But I’ve been in contention at major championships a lot now, and it just shows I’m doing the right things, and I can’t look at it as a negative.”
“It [a major win] will soon come my way. I’ve just got to be patient with it.”