• Leishman leads Presidents Cup qualifying

    Marc Leishman Presidents Cup
    Leishman is Ernie's No 1
    Australia’s Marc Leishman continued to bolster his position atop the International Team standings following a T3 result at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

    The four-time PGA TOUR winner closed with a 64 to finish five shots back of Kuchar’s winning 22-under total. In four official starts this season, Leishman’s results are as follows: 1st-T18-T4-T3.

    Leishman also competed in the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf where he teamed with fellow Aussie Cameron Smith to finish T2 in front of the home crowd at the Metropolitan Golf Club. At No 2 in the standings, Smith is in search of his first Presidents Cup appearance.
    Joining Leishman with a T3 finish was Canada’s Corey Conners, who carded a 6-under 64 at Waialae to nab his second top-5 finish of the season (2nd, Sanderson Farms Championship). The 27-year-old is firmly in Presidents Cup contention after moving from T58 in the standings up to No 19. A berth for Conners would make him the fourth Canadian to compete on the International Team, joining Mike Weir, Graham DeLaet and Adam Hadwin.
    Matt Kuchar is the newest member of the top eight in the US Presidents Cup team standings following his second win of the 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season and ninth career PGA TOUR victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii. The four-time US team Presidents Cup veteran opened with matching 63s and never looked back en route to a four-stroke victory at Waialae Country Club over Andrew Putnam.

    The win vaulted Kuchar from No 14 to No 7 in the standings after collecting his second win in just four starts this season. His win at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in November ended a 115-tournament winless drought that dated back to the 2014 RBC Heritage. Kuchar was a member of the victorious 2011 US team the last time the Presidents Cup was played at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia, which will again host the event in 2019.

    With his runner-up result, Putnam leapt 14 spots in the standings from No 27 to No 13. The Tacoma Washington native is competing in his third full season on the PGA TOUR, following a breakthrough campaign in 2018 marked by his first career PGA TOUR victory at the Barracuda Championship.
    Bryson DeChambeau remains atop the US team standings with 4,160 points. DeChambeau has finished inside the top 10 in all three of his starts this season, including his fifth career PGA TOUR victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
    Xander Schauffele trails DeChambeau by 32 points after a torrid start to his season that has yielded two wins in four starts. The 25-year-old prevailed in a playoff against Tony Finau to win the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China, and returned to the winner’s circle in his next start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where the San Diego native carded a final-round 62 to edge Gary Woodland by one stroke in Maui, Hawaii.
    The top eight players in the International and US Presidents Cup team standings as of 14 January 2019 are listed below:
    INTERNATIONAL
    Rank   Player                      Country                   Points
    1.         Marc Leishman             Australia                       102.52
    2.         Cameron Smith             Australia                       74.61
    3.         Abraham Ancer             Mexico                         68.54
    4.         Louis Oosthuizen          South Africa                  66.63
    5.         Haotong Li                   China                              54.68
    6.         Shugo Imahira               Japan                            54.17
    7.         Shaun Norris                 South Africa                  51.73
    8.         Hideki Matsuyama         Japan                            51.10
    UNITED STATES
    Rank   Player                                Points
    1.        Bryson DeChambeau           4,160
    2.        Xander Schauffele                4,128
    3.        Justin Thomas                      3,934
    4.        Brooks Koepka                    3,591
    5.        Dustin Johnson                    3,470
    6.        Tony FInau                         3,026
    7.        Matt Kuchar                        2,979
    8.        Gary Woodland                   2,852

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