Glory for Leishman in Sun City

Marc Leishman
Marc Leishman celebrates his Sun City win. Image: Getty

Marc Leishman is set to soar into the top 25 on the world rankings after the Australian completed his best season in golf by winning the rich Nedbank Challenge in Sun City, South Africa.

Leishman, 32, collected $1.25 million prizemoney, the biggest pay cheque of his career, after he led the final round from start to finish with an outstanding 67 at Gary Player Country Club.

The man from Warrnambool, who has played on the US tour since 2009, won by six shots from Henrik Stenson of Sweden.

"I knew it was going to be a really tough day, I knew I had to play well. Henrik's an awesome player and I knew he'd make me earn it, which he did,'' said Leishman, whose previous big victory was the Travelers Championship in 2012.

"I'm really pleased that I could play as well as I did and have a little bit of a buffer there at the end. Golf's a lot easier when you don't have to make up lost ground, especially on this golf course where there's trouble everywhere. I was really happy to not have too many bogeys. I definitely found out where the trouble was in the practice round."

Leishman's finest year included a runner-up finish at the Open Championship at St Andrews, his best finish in a major, and an appearance for the International team at the Presidents Cup where he beat world No. 1 Jordan Spieth in singles.

But the season has coincided with his toughest off the course. In March, his American wife Audrey almost died from acute respiratory distress syndrome, taking him away from golf for some time. Audrey Leishman has made a recovery but faces ongoing issues with her health.

 "I’m pretty happy to have this year over, to be honest,'' said Leishman. "Audrey got very sick and I lost an uncle who I was very close to. This tops off what was otherwise not a great year. Three weeks ago we moved into a new house, so this will help pay for that.''

He is expected to jump to around No. 24 in the world, from No. 47 last week.

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