Caddie revives Leishman putter for US Open

Marc Leishman's caddie Matthew Kelly will help his boss read short putts at this week's US Open at Pebble Beach.

MARC LEISHMAN of Australia hits a tee shot in the final round of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in Jeju, South Korea.
MARC LEISHMAN of Australia hits a tee shot in the final round of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in Jeju, South Korea. Picture: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Marc Leishman has credited long-time caddie Matthew Kelly for noticing a flaw in his putting, which helped turn around his form just in time for the US Open at Pebble Beach.

Leishman suffered through a rough trio of events, including finishing 49th at the Masters and missing the cut at the PGA Championship at New York's difficult Bethpage Black last month.

But Kelly, Leishman's childhood mate and caddie for more than a decade, noticed he was indecisive on putts from close range.

"Matty and I found something on the greens and now we are reading all the short putts together," Leishman said.

"Anything from within 10 feet of the hole, we read together. He gives me a more specific target and I feel really good with the putter now."

The change paid instant dividends when Leishman finished fifth at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio two weeks ago - his first top five on the PGA Tour since February.

World No.21 Leishman now feels confident of lifting his results at the US Open, where his best finish has been 16th.

"I don't have the highest expectations for US Opens because I haven't done so well in the past," a brutally honest Leishman joked.

"But it may be a good thing because you play more relaxed golf."

While Leishman has performed strongly at the Masters and exceptionally well at the British Open, he has missed three cuts from seven starts at the US Open.

The 35-year-old has recorded just one top 20 at the American major, which is known for thick rough and lightening-fast greens.

But California's iconic Pebble Beach has the smallest greens on the PGA Tour and the seaside course will reward gifted iron players such as Leishman, who also possesses a world-class short game.

"I'm excited for Pebble Beach because of how big a factor the short game is going to be," Leishman said.

"I'm putting well again, my iron play is great because I can shape the irons in both directions.

"If you miss the greens at Pebble, you have to have an extraordinary short game to save par and I feel mine is pretty good."


AAP