Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Playing out of the final threesome, overnight tri-leader and World No. 24 Marc Leishman painted a 7-under-par 31-34=65 in Sunday's final round at TPC Kuala Lumpur for a 72-hole tally of 26-under 262, good for a five-shot win over runners-up Emiliano Grillo (66), Chesson Hadley (66) and first-round leader Bronson Burgoon (68).
The 34-year-old, who celebrated his birthday early (Oct. 24th), was a pre-tourney 22/1 outright and claims his fourth PGA TOUR title in 250 events, first since a wire-to-wire win at the 2017 BMW Championship (Conway Farms GC; Illinois) 27 starts ago, where he also won by five.
Two-time past champ Justin Thomas (64), Abraham Ancer (65), Charles Howell III (67), Louis Oosthuizen (69) and second-round co-leader and 54-hole tri-leader Gary Woodland (71), finished T5, six adrift.
Final Leaderboard (pre-tourney odds outright):
1- (-26, 262) Marc Leishman (22/1)
2- (-21, 267) Emiliano Grillo (30/1)
2- (-21, 267) Chesson Hadley (80/1)
2- (-21, 267) Bronson Burgoon (70/1)
5- (-20, 268) Justin Thomas (9/2)
5- (-20, 268) Abraham Ancer (66/1)
5- (-20, 268) Charles Howell III (50/1)
5- (-20, 268) Louis Oosthuizen (30/1)
5- (-20, 268) Gary Woodland (20/1)
Leaders in Strokes Gained Stats:
N/A; no ShotLink at the CIMB
For a second straight day, Leishman got off to a flying start, racing out of the gates with four birdies in his first five holes. After birdies at 2, 3 and 4, he seized a two-shot advantage and never looked back. On 11 (of 14) fairways and 13 greens in regulation, Leishman recorded a tidy 1.462 putts per GIR with just 25 total putts. He smothered a lone bogey-5 at 13 with eight birdies, adding red at 5, 9, 10, 16 and 18 for the final margin.
For the week, Leishman tallied one eagle and 28 birdies versus four bogeys. He ranked 1st in Birdie or Better Percentage, Par-5 Scoring, Putts per GIR and Total Putts. See his full stats at the bottom.
Leishman, who’s playing his 11th straight season on TOUR, records his 39th career top 10 (250 events), first since solo 2nd at the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson 12 starts and five months ago where he led/co-led after Rounds 1, 2 and 3, but fell three swings short of fellow 54-hole co-leader (and TOUR rookie) Aaron Wise, 68 to 65.
This was his seventh overall CIMB, fifth as an official event, and second top 10, second consecutive after solo 5th on last visit in 2017 (69-65-71-66).
Leishman at the CIMB:
Starts: 5 (official)
Top 25s: 2
Top 10s: 2 (5th/2017)
CIMB Form: 1-5-29-39-44
Leishman has gotten progressively better at the limited-field no-cut event, which takes place about 3,900 miles from his birthplace of Warrnambool on the SE coast of Australia. In his five tours around the par-72 layout, his scoring average is now 69.20, though 66.63 in his last two visits.
FUN FACT: Leishman played holes 1-5 this week in 14-under (1 eagle, 13 birdies, 1 bogey).
The Virginia Beach, Virginia, resident, finished 29th in the FedExCup standings last season with six top 10s in 25 starts and concluded with a T21 (of 30) at the TOUR Championship. After a breakout season in 2017, highlighted by two wins, he didn’t taste victory last season – though runner-up two times – and said his goal this season was to get back to the winner’s circle. Goal accomplished. One start, one win.
Leishman collects 500 FEC points to sit 2nd in the FEC standings, while Kevin Tway, T27 this week, stays on top for a second week in a row. He climbs eight places to 16th in the Official World Golf Ranking, chasing his career high of 12th after the 2018 Sony Open. Leishman is in the published field for this coming week’s no-cut CJ CUP in Korea, where he finished P2 (to Thomas) in last year’s inaugural edition.
His last two wins have both come in no-cut events, while five of his top-10 best performances as far as OWGR points won are concerned have come in limited-field no-cut events as well.
FUN FACT: Leishman had one TOUR win in his first 206 events, three in his last 43. #LateBloomer
Cuts Made: 184 (73.6%)
Top 25s: 83 (33.2%)
Top 10s: 39 (15.6%)
Top 3s: 15 (6.0%)
Wins: 4 (1.6%)
2019: CIMB Classic (54-hole tri-leader)
Winning Margin: 5 shots
Career Start: 250
2017: BMW Championship (wire-to-wire)
Winning Margin: 5 shots
Career Start: 223
2017: Arnold Palmer Invitational (come from behind, 3-shot deficit)
Winning Margin: 1 shot
Career Start: 207
2012: Travelers Championship (come from behind, 6-shot deficit)
Winning Margin: 1 shot
Career Start: 96
TOUR Wins by Season:
2018: 0 (25 starts)
2017: 2 (25 starts)
2016: 0 (25 starts)
2015: 0 (23 starts)
2014: 0 (24 starts)
2013: 0 (23 starts)
2012: 1 (23 starts; 4th season on TOUR; 96th career start)
30-year-olds are off to a quick start this season with two wins in two tries: Tway, age 30, P1 at Safeway; Marc Leishman, age 34.
Marc Leishman: ties the tourney record to par (-26) with Thomas (2016), who was also a 22/1 outright. He’s the first international winner of the CIMB, ending a streak of eight straight by the US of A.
Emiliano Grillo: third runner-up in 84 career events, first since T2 at the 2016 Barclays (Bethpage State Park). His one TOUR win came 76 starts ago at the 2016 Frys (now Safeway) in his first start as a member.
Chesson Hadley: second runner-up in 128 events, joining solo 2nd at the 2018 Sanderson Farms. His one TOUR win came 115 starts ago at the 2014 Puerto Rico Open during his rookie season.
Bronson Burgoon: second runner-up in 55 events, joining T2 at the 2018 John Deere. Ties career-best finish and was top debutant (of 24). Owns just three career top 10s now but two of those are runners-up. #FeastOrFamine. So far, zero wins on TOUR and zero wins in 62 events on the Web.
Kevin Chappell: led field in bogey-free rounds with three en route to a T10 on 19-under 269 (66-67-71-65). It’s just his second top-25 finish in his last 15 events, joining a T6 at The Open five starts ago, and connected four sub-par laps for the first time in nine months (T6, 2018 CareerBuilder).
Field Scoring Average:
This was the 9th playing of the CIMB, 6th and 6th consecutive at TPC Kuala Lumpur:
Scorecard Yardage: 7,005
Par: 72 (36-36)
Cumulative scoring averages:
Leishman’s Position by Round:
R1: T20 (5 back)
FUN FACT: Leishman led/co-led six times last season after any round in 25 events (90 rounds), most recently T1 after R3 of the Byron Nelson (finished 2nd).
FUN FACT: In his 250 career events, Leishman has been a 54-hole leader/co-leader in back-to-back starts one time, at the 2017 Dell Technologies (finished 3rd) and the above-mentioned 2017 BMW (won).
Leader/co-leaders by Round:
R1: Bronson Burgoon (finished T2): 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader
R2: Gary Woodland (finished T5): 0-for-4 as 36-hole leader/co-leader
R2: Marc Leishman (Won): 2-for-6
R3: Gary Woodland (finished T5): 2-for 7 as 54-hole leader/co-leader
R3: Marc Leishman (Won): 2-for-4
R3: Shubhankar Sharma (T10): 0-for-2
FUN FACT: In the last 93 stroke-play events, dating to the beginning of the 2016-17 season, there’s been co-leaders after 54 holes 22 times with 13 winners emerging. In those same 93 events, you’d have had a better chance of winning as a 54-hole co-leader than if you had held a 1- or 2-stroke outright lead.
Co-leader: 59.00% conversion
1-shot lead: 23.50% conversion
2-shot lead: 50.00%
*Note: The 2018 Open Championship (Carnoustie) was the last time a 54-hole co-leader did not convert (Spieth/T9; Schauffele/T2; Kisner/T2).
R1: 63: Bronson Burgoon
R2: 61: Gary Woodland*; career low
R3: 63: Stewart Cink
*Woodland: ties course and tourney record
R2: (11): Gary Woodland (61); Marc Leishman (62); Keith Mitchell (65); John Catlin (65); Kevin Chappell (67); Charles Howell III (67); Austin Cook (68); Chesson Hadley (68); Whee Kim (68); Justin Thomas (69); Kiradech Aphibarnrat (69)
Multiple Bogey-Free Rounds:
Woodland, Cook, Howell III, Na, Mitchell, Catlin, Aphibarnrat (x2)
Odds Favorite(s) Outright:
Dating to the beginning of the 2016-17 season (143 events), the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has won 10 times.
47 (non-team) tournaments
4 pre-tourney fave/co-faves won:
Dustin Johnson: 11/2 (Canadian Open)
Dustin Johnson: 6/1 (St. Jude)
Jon Rahm: 8/1 (CareerBuilder)
Justin Thomas: 15/2 (CJ CUP)
Justin Thomas: the two-time past champ and World No. 4 was the top-ranked OWGRer and a pre-tourney 9/2 fave outright. He closed with a day-tying-low 64 (1 eagle, 7 birdies, 1 bogey) for a back-door T5 (66-69-69-64). The 25-year-old heads off to Korea for THE CJ CUP, where he won last year’s inaugural in a playoff over Leishman as a first-round leader and 54-hole co-leader.
Abraham Ancer: Making his tournament debut, the 27-year-old finished T5 (67-68-68-65). Playing his third season on TOUR, he records his sixth top 10 in 51 events, second in his last three starts (T7, 2018 Dell Technologies). The Texas-born Mexican’s career best is T4 at the 2018 QL National. His closing 65 (9 birdies, 1 double) featured a sterling 1.364 putts per GIR with just 22 total putts.
Pat Perez: making his first start since a WD after R3 of the 2018 Dell Tech (wife in labor), the defending champ finished T63 on 4-under 284 (70-69-71-74), 22 adrift and 20 shots worse than last year’s winning total.
The last seven winners on TOUR (reverse order): Brandt Snedeker (Wyndham); Bryson DeChambeau (The NT); Bryson DeChambeau (Dell Tech); Keegan Bradley (BMW); Tiger Woods (TOUR Championship); Kevin Tway (Safeway); Marc Leishman (CIMB)
Leishman’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 78 players):
Eagles: 1 (T11)
Birdies: 28 (T1)
Bogeys: 4 (T8)
Birdie or Better: 40.28% (1st)
Par-3 Scoring: 2.94 (T26)
Par-4 Scoring: 3.73 (T2)
Par-5 Scoring: 4.13 (1st)
Driving Accuracy: 36/56 (T44) at 64.29%
GIR: 53/72 (T46) at 73.61%
Putts per GIR: 1.528 (1st)
Total Putts: 102 (1st)
Putts by Round: 26-24-27-25
Scrambling: 15/19 (T5) at 78.95%