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June 27, 2012

Marc Leishman


JOEL SCHUCHMANN:  We'd like to welcome Marc Leishman to the interview room here at the AT&T National.  Congratulations first and foremost on your victory last week at the Travelers Championship.  Obviously a great win for you.  Maybe some opening comments about the last couple of days.  Obviously you've had a few days to kind of digest your win.
MARC LEISHMAN:  Yeah, it's been a really exciting couple of days.  A bit of a whirlwind, really, to go from Sunday morning when I didn't think I really had too much of a chance, barring some really, really low round, and then all of a sudden, what, 6:30 on Sunday night I'm a champion on the PGA TOUR.  So that was a pretty huge turnaround.
Obviously a little bit overwhelming there at the end.
No, it's been a busy couple of days.  I've had a little bit of time to reflect a few times, busy with a lot of media stuff back in Australia and here, as well.  But it's been amazing.  I mean, to‑‑ well, to be able to do this for the first time after winning a TOUR event is amazing, and hopefully I can be up here a lot more often.

Q.  Were you rooting against the other guys?
MARC LEISHMAN:  I mean, I was watching.  To be honest, I thought Charley was going to at least‑‑ not do what he did.  I know how easy it was to do what Charley did because I did it on Saturday.  I played well most of Saturday, and I think I was at 9‑under going into 17 trying to get to 10 to give myself a real crack on Sunday and double bogeyed 17 and bogeyed 18.  I know how easy it was.  I wasn't wishing anything bad because that's not really‑‑ I thought he was safe.
Obviously you take a win any way you can get it, and that's probably‑‑ you'd rather go out and make a birdie on the last hole and have all the jubilation than do what happened, but having said that, I'm not wishing that anything else happened.  When it all was said and done, I was happier than‑‑ one of the happiest moments of my life, and obviously apart from getting married and having my son born, it was a big moment for me.

Q.  They attempted to make the course tougher this year after the widespread success of last year's U.S. Open.  Have you noticed any challenges or are there any new adjustments that you feel you'll have to make this year?
MARC LEISHMAN:  Yeah, it's a lot firmer.  It's playing probably the same length that it did last year in the Open.  I wouldn't say there's any adjustments.  You've still got to hit the fairways, hit good shots into the greens.  Maybe you'll have to shape a few more shots into pins to hold greens.  But it's set up probably more like a major, and obviously the weather had a lot to do with it last year.  It's definitely going to be tougher.  I don't think 20‑under is going to be winning or 15‑under or whatever won the U.S. Open last year.  I don't think that's going to happen again.

Q.  Hunter went out early, shot 61, then a little bit later you go out and shoot 62.  When you were done with that round did you think 14‑under was even close to good enough, and at what point did you think, I can win?
MARC LEISHMAN:  I thought it was close.  To be honest, standing on the 8th fairway I thought I had to either hole my second shot or birdie.  I had a real good chance, parred it, walked off thinking that's a good week, 62 is a good round.  I wasn't disappointed walking off the 18th green, put it that way.  I did think I might have been one or two shots short.
You never know.  It's a funny game, especially with them finishing four holes.  They are all birdie holes, but at the same time if you get too aggressive or don't execute shots how you want to, you can make a bogey or a double really easily.
I thought it was a chance, but probably‑‑ I thought I was more likely to finish second or third than I was to win.  Definitely needed some help from the leaders and was lucky enough that what happened happened.

Q.  This tournament has a different atmosphere in regards to the military presence here.  Do you notice that from the time you've been here?  Today is a big day I know for them.  Would you comment on that?
MARC LEISHMAN:  Definitely.  I was over at the opening ceremony on the first tee when Tiger hit the opening tee shot and Leroy spoke, one of the‑‑ I think he's got the Medal of Honor.  He spoke, and it was really inspirational to hear all them guys.  As golfers, what we do is a just‑‑ what they do is on a different page to what we do.  To be up in‑‑ we went up and spoke to them, they had a lunch, and it was just amazing to speak to some of the guys, the American Special Forces or guys‑‑ it's just inspirational to hear that and what they do for not only America but the whole world is amazing, and I think the world definitely wouldn't be as good a place as it is without the U.S. military and the militaries all around the world.

Q.  Do you work with a coach out here?
MARC LEISHMAN:  My coach is from Australia, Dennis McDade.

Q.  When you're over here, how does that relationship work from afar, and are you able to lean on him from this far away, or is it difficult?
MARC LEISHMAN:  Yeah, he gets over about three or four times a year, five times a year.  But if I was desperate, I can send him some video or I can call him up and he can be here‑‑ if I called him now, he can be here Friday.  We've got that sort of relationship.  I haven't had to do that yet, and hopefully I won't have to do that.  But he's always said to me that if I need to that he's more than happy to do that.

Q.  Did you go to him when you were a kid?
MARC LEISHMAN:  Yeah, we've been working together for 10 years, yep.  We've got a great relationship, and yeah, he coaches Marcus Fraser, as well, who obviously finished second last year.

Q.  Did you go through British qualifying at Gleneagles, attempt that?
MARC LEISHMAN:  I did not, no.  Because of my green card situation, I'm currently going for my green card and it was looking like I wasn't going to be able to leave the country, so I didn't do it.  But I spoke to my lawyers, my immigration lawyers, two days ago, and it's looking like I will hopefully be able to go.  I've been approved for an advanced parole to leave the country‑‑

Q.  The words don't sound good.
MARC LEISHMAN:  No, it really doesn't sound great.  But I was approval for advanced parole I think a week ago, and that‑‑ it's a card, like a credit card.  Apparently it takes 30 days to come through, so hopefully it gets here before the British, otherwise I'm not sure what we're going to do.

Q.  I'm sorry but I'm not quite sure how that works.  Did something expire and it's time for renewal?
MARC LEISHMAN:  Well, because my wife is American, I've got to‑‑ my son was obviously born over here.  I've got a house here.  My P‑1 visa, I needed to apply for a green card because my P‑1 visa, my primary reason for being over here is not golf now, so I needed to do that.  It just happened that I had to‑‑ I applied for it early this year and didn't think I was going to have to leave the country, but it's a good thing to have to worry about.  Hopefully I'll have to worry about it and I'll get into the British and we'll have to worry about it.  But hopefully it'll take care of‑‑ it'll get taken care of.

Q.  My broader question was going to be how quickly it settled in in terms of the British Open special money list and then Firestone and Masters and all those things.  Did it kick in soon for you?
MARC LEISHMAN:  Yeah, it was funny, actually.  On Sunday night when we were out celebrating, there was a few guys out there, and things just kept popping up.  They're like‑‑ I knew I was in Akron pretty much straightaway.  I knew I was in the Masters.  I didn't realize I was in the British‑‑ well, leading that money list.  I thought the PGA was taken care of.  Then there was‑‑ I forgot about Maui.
Yeah, it was just‑‑ like I said, everything happened so quick that it was just good things kept coming throughout the night.  It's like Maui, got the tournaments in Asia that I'll be in later in the year.  Yeah, it's been a pretty good couple of days.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN:  Marc Leishman, thank you.

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