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By Christopher Powers
Much like his round on Saturday, Marc Leishman took charge of the CIMB Classic early on Sunday, making four birdies on his first five holes. A birdie at the ninth gave him a five-under 31, and this time he backed it up on his final nine, carding a two-under 34 to finish with a seven-under 65, good enough for a five-stroke victory.
“I got off to a really strong start and then kept it going,” said Leishman, who now has four PGA Tour victories. “Yesterday struggled a little bit on the back nine, there were some tough holes out there, so I was really wary of that and knew that I had to keep my head down and keep playing really hard. So it was very nice to get a bit of a lead to come up the last and enjoy it like I did, and to birdie it, that’s something I’ll remember forever.”
The 34-year-old Aussie looked like he was going to have a breakout year in 2017, winning twice at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the BMW Championship. But he was unable to find a win during the 2017-’18 PGA Tour season, something he was happy to rectify at TPC Kuala Lumpur.
“It’s huge. After having two wins last season—sorry, two seasons ago, not winning this year so far, pretty determined to change that and was able to do it this week. So hopefully I can continue my good form in Korea next week and World Cup and the Australian PGA at the end of the year.”
Leishman now heads to the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges, an event he nearly won last season in a playoff in the tournament’s first year. He wound up losing on the second sudden death hole to Justin Thomas, the only player hotter than Leishman this time last year.
Emiliano Grillo, Bronson Burgoon and Chesson Hadley finished in a tie for second at 21-under 267. Thomas was among a group that tied for fifth at 20-under 268.