Masters week leaves Leishman majors hungry

Marc Leishman says another close call at the Masters has returned the mongrel to his game as he sets his sights on the year's remaining three majors.

MARC LEISHMAN.
MARC LEISHMAN. Picture: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Marc Leishman has come up short in his bid for a green jacket but has rediscovered his hunger for glory after another close call at the Masters.

After a year littered with sub-par performances and general lethargy in his attitude, Leishman says collecting his second top-five at Augusta National has reinvigorated his season and has him pining for the remaining three majors of 2021.

Leishman started the final round four shots behind eventual champion Hideki Matsuyama but never threatened the Japanese star.

A one-over 73 and six-under 282 finish gave Leishman a share of fifth.

Matsuyama was on cruise control for most of the final round before some late stumbles left him at 10-under 278, good enough for a one-shot win over Masters rookie Will Zalatoris.

While disappointed not to be a factor on Sunday, Leishman left Augusta with the beliefe that the remainder of the major season sets up for him perhaps better than ever before.

The US Open in June will be held at Torrey Pines, where he is a perennial contender at the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open, winning in 2020 after two previous runner-up finishes.

Leishman is a links golf specialist making July's Open Championship at Royal St George's another opportunity for glory.

First up though will be the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in May where the Victorian finished tied for 27th the last time the Ocean Resort in South Carolina hosted the tournament in 2012.

"It was obviously disappointing not to put any pressure on Hideki or really give myself a chance but overall it was a great week and my game felt as good as it has for a long time which makes me excited for the rest of the year now," Leishman told AAP.

"It has been an important mental reset this week.

"It only took me a year but I think I've worked it out which is a good feeling.

"I know what I've got to do now. I know the triggers to ensure the hunger and mongrel is in my game.

"It's nice to get the juices flowing and get that hunger back.

"It certainly has me looking ahead to the big tournaments to come.

"If I keep my head in the game and work hard there could be much more success in the coming months with the majors at venues that suit me, possibly the Olympics and the PGA Tour playoffs."

Leishman started slowly in the final round while his putting speed let him down when it mattered most.

After a great opening tee shot he pulled his approach left of the green and made bogey. He never really recovered.

"I was a little bit tentative on the putts. The speed was just a little bit off. Not quite hitting them hard enough," Leishman said.

"I'm never one to give up. If I'd have got the putter hot there late I could have made a little bit of a run, but just didn't quite drive it well enough today."

Cameron Smith, last year's joint runner-up, was the next best Australian at one under for his third top-10 in just five Masters starts.

Matt Jones had a 72 to end his Masters at one over while 2013 champion Adam Scott signed off with a 73 to finish the week 11 over.