Marc Leishman is without a doubt one of the most likeable players on Tour. Known for his kind-hearted spirit, the Australian is a very popular figure on the PGA Tour. Leishman has been suffering with some back problems as of late and the discs in his back were causing a problem for him once again in the run up to A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier held at the Old White TPC course.
Playing in Wednesday's Pro-Am the day before the first round of the PGA Tour opener, Leishman's back was causing some discomfort again, but then it got even worse on the fifth hole.
Leishman thought that his playing partner had picked up as he couldn't score for the hole, but that wasn't the case. Leishman was stood around 100 yards from one of his playing partners and not exactly in his line of sight, but out of nowhere a ball was thinned straight towards him and struck him firmly in his already aggravated back.
On Thursday, Leishman had a shocker of a first round on the Old White TPC Course, shooting a six-over score of 76, that featured a triple bogey on the 16th hole.
Leishman went into the tournament as one of the favoruites, being the second-highest ranked player in the field, currently world no.24 with only Bryson DeChambeau, world no.10, higher than him in that respect. The poor start for the 35-year-old saw him sitting at the bottom of the leaderboard in last place, 156th.
"I can't blame anything I did today on that," said Leishman, asked if the incident on Wednesday affected his performance. "But it did hurt at the time."
"I was good until yesterday. This is frustrating, yeah. I was looking forward to getting the season off to a good start.
Asked whether he would be withdrawing due to injury, Leishman said that he would do his best to continue. "I'm going to give it a go," he said. "I'm here to play, so I'll try to play."