He loves me, he loves me not: Leishman's opinion changes on 13th-hole tree

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AVONDALE, La. – On Thursday, Marc Leishman was asked his thoughts on the towering cypress tree in the middle of the 13th fairway at TPC Louisiana.

“I think it’s a good hole. I’m not normally a fan of trees in the middle of fairways, but I think the two that are in the middle of fairways out here are pretty good and make you think about it,” he said at the time.

By Sunday afternoon that opinion had changed – dramatically.

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During the second-round foursomes session, the Australian’s tee shot settled directly behind the signature tree and led to a bogey for Leishman and teammate Cameron Smith. On Sunday with a two-stroke lead, Leishman’s drive stopped behind the tree again and led to another bogey for Team Aussie.

“I want to change my answer,” Leishman laughed.

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Luckily for them, Leishman and Smith held on for a final-round 70 to force a playoff against Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, which was won by the Australians with a par at the first extra hole (No. 18).

Leishman enjoyed a measure of payback two holes later when he chipped in for birdie at the par-4 16th hole after Smith had hit his drive into a water hazard.

“It is give and take and certainly when you’ve got a partner you’re playing for and you do something like that, it’s fun to pay him back a little bit,” Leishman said. “I really wanted to make that chip on 16. It was quite a simple chip, to be honest, but when I executed it, I was really, really pleased.”