A quick glance at the top of the Masters leaderboard and you'll see several notable names, but while Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods are in contention, it's Marc Leishman leading the way.
Leishman, a 29-year-old from Australia, shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday to take the clubhouse lead at Augusta National. Not bad for a guy who missed the cut in his only other Masters appearance and was listed as a 300/1 favorite to win the tournament before Thursday's first round. So who exactly is Marc Leishman? Let's find out.
PGA Tour career:
Leishman turned pro in 2005, but didn't join the PGA Tour until 2009. He began his career playing on the Von Nida Tour in Australia only to move to the Nationwide Tour in 2007. During his second season on the Nationwide Tour, Leishman finished high enough on the money list to earn a 2009 PGA Tour card.
He didn't take long to find success, finishing in a tie for 12th at the 2009 Sony Open, the first tour event of his career. He carded three top-10 finishes during his rookie season and was named the 2009 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
Since then, Leishman has continued to have success on tour. He's made the cut in 67 percent of his tour appearances, notching his lone PGA Tour win at the Travelers Championship in 2012. Leishman entered Augusta as the No. 108 player in the world.
Major tournament experience:
The 2013 Masters is the eighth major tournament of Leishman's career. His best major finish came in 2012 when he placed in a tie for 27th at the PGA Championship.
He played in the 2010 Masters, and finished the first round at even par. A second round 79, however, left him at 7-over and on the wrong side of the cut line. He failed to qualify for the 2011 and 2012 Masters. He made it back into the field this year, thanks to the exemption he earned from his Travelers Championship victory last season.
The Australian connection:
No Australian born player has ever won the Masters and not many would have expected Leishman to be the Australian with the clubhouse lead. Many have predicted Adam Scott to be the one to break the Australian curse while Jason Day nearly accomplished the feat with a second place finish in 2011.
So will Leishman be the one to make history? With 54 holes to play, he still has a long way to go. If he plays like he did on the back nine on Thursday, however, he'll be right at the top on Sunday. After opening the round with a bogey and making the turn at 1-under, Leishman concluded his round with four-straight birdies.
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