AUSTRALIA’S Marc Leishman soared with a pair of eagles on the back nine to be just one shot off the lead after the first round of the 2012 Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas.
The 28-year-old chipped in to eagle the par-four 11th and holed an eight-foot eagle putt at the par-five 16th on the way to a five-under-par 65.
That was his best score in some 30 starts in what has been a lean period for the US PGA Tour’s 2009 Rookie of the Year.
“Today was a good reward for the work I’ve been doing the last three or four weeks,” Leishman said afterwards at the TPC Four Seasons Resort.
Leishman said he made an adjustment to square up his club face and had also been fighting some old habits, especially with his posture, which he said had “been a little hunched.”
Leishman hasn’t had a top 10 on the tour since his third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational early in 2011 but he knows he has to stay patient.
“You don’t have to play perfect to win,” he said. “I’m learning that. I think it takes a fair while to learn that.
“I’m just trying to do what I can to give myself a chance really. I think early in this year and late last year, I was trying to push too hard. Hopefully I can do the right things.”
[quote]You don’t have to play perfect to win … Marc Leishman[/quote]
Leading the Byron Nelson was American Ryan Palmer who lost a playoff for the championship title last year with Keegan Bradley.
Palmer shot a bogey-free 6-under 64 to be one in front of Leishman and Germany’s Alex Cejka, with last Sunday’s Players Championship winner Matt Kuchar one of seven players on 4-under.
Jason Day and Nathan Green were the next best placed Aussies tied for 24th on 2-under while Matt Goggin was on 1-under after his 69.
Greg Chalmers and Nick O’Hern were on even while Adam Scott really has some work to do after a 3-over 73.
Scott had a double bogey on the par 4 fourth and four other bogies offset by three birdies.
Phil Mickelson, back at the Nelson for the first time in five years, shot 70 with two bogeys and two birdies.2012 Byron Nelson Leaderboard