Aussie Marc Leishman claimed his first PGA Tour title.
By Luke Elvy for Golf Australia
Professional golf is the shop-front for the sport. The images from the major tours around the world help drive the game on all levels right down to the grassroots. When things are going well at a professional level it has a knock-on affect through the golf industry but conversely if it doesn’t.
All year we’ve been starved of Australian success on the world stage & as a nation, which boasts a plethora of champions, it doesn’t take long for media focus to drift away, which ultimately hurts the many people connected to the game.
That’s why this weekend’s near trifecta is a huge & much needed boost for Aussie golf. Better still they’re all products of the Golf Australia system.
Sydney’s Brad Kennedy started the spree by claiming his maiden win in Japan, a 3 shot triumph at the Mizuno Open, gaining a berth in next month’s Open Championship in the process.
Victoria’s Marcus Fraser came within a whisker of his 3rd European Tour win, going down to Danny Willett on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff in Germany, while Warnambool’s Marc Leishman charged home in Connecticut with a final round 8 under 62 to breakthrough on the PGA Tour.
Leishman’s one-shot victory at the Travellers Championship will be viewed as the biggest given the status of that tour but all three players have done wonders for the game back home despite achieving success abroad.
Every time golf appears on TV, in the newspapers or on radio it promotes the game to the masses. People get inspired by success & therefore want to play the game. That means people buy equipment, get lessons or simply head to their local course to try & emulate the pros, which brings money into the game.
Until this weekend golf had struggled to get any media attention, save for a few moments here or there. Its been largely overlooked by mainstream media which continues to go to the staples of the AFL & NRL to fill their sports reports/sections or bulletins & while these wins didn’t knock the footy codes off the front pages or lead the news, it did get a mention & that can only be a good thing for golf in Australia.
So congratulations to Brad, Marc & Marcus, you not only thrilled the committed golf fans you put our beloved game back in the spotlight. Thank you.
Luke Elvy hosts golf for Network TEN, is currently covering the PGA Tour in the US and is a freelance columnist for GolfAustralia.org.au His views do not necessarily represent the views of Golf Australia. You can follow him on Twitter: @elvisgolf.