Are we witnessing a changing of the guard or the passing of the torch to a younger generation so far as Australian professional golf is concerned?
It could be a bit of both.
Marc Leishman could supply our argument for the former, as he has consistently kept his name near the top of the leaderboard in tournament after tournament in the 2016 – PGA Tour while Jason Day and Adam Scott have been largely absent as one battle health and personal issues and the other seems to have lost some of the razor sharp mojo he had at the beginning of last season and other seasons gone by.
This last week, when the PGA Tour played the devilish TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm track, where the fairways at times seemed more like hallways, in quest of the Quicken Loans National, Leishman stayed in contention for all four rounds, closing with a four-under par 66 that had him in the clubhouse as the leader as the fourth round was winding down. Leishman shot 66 in the opening round as well, on a week none of the finest professional golfers in the world could shot anything better than 65.
As for the passing of the torch to a younger generation, Curtis Luck provided the example for that argument.
After winning the U.S. Amateur last year and earning a slot in The Masters, Luck turned professional and has made the most of the nine starts he has had on the PGA. His 276 aggregate tied Leishman and he handled final round pressure with the aplomb and dignity of a veteran, despite encountering a few rough patches en route to an even-par final round 70.
Just one stroke back from Leishman and Luck, although compensated almost 50 percent under what that pair earned, a rejuvenated Geoff Ogilvy made some noise in the first two rounds, although he slipped a bit in the third round. Ogilvy was one of those few who carded a 65 during the week.