Having been mistaken for British Open champion Shane Lowry for years, Marc Leishman hopes the Irishman’s Claret Jug victory is enough for casual golf fans to start telling them apart.
Leishman, who resembles Lowry courtesy of a burly build and thick facial hair, was dealt a cruel reminder of his disappointing Open campaign when he arrived in Memphis, Tennessee for this week’s World Golf Championships Invitational event at TPC Southwind.
“The first person I saw at TPC Southwind was a policeman and he congratulated me on winning last week,” Leishman told AAP through laughter.
“I said ‘thanks’ because it was easier than telling him I’m not Shane and that I actually missed the cut at Portrush.
“I”ve had people mistake me for him over the years and I’m sure he gets the same.”
Although it was a light-hearted beginning to the elite 63-man WGC, Leishman does not find his Open showing funny after years of building momentum at the UK major.
He posted three top-six results between 2014 and 2017, including a play-off loss at the famed Old Course at St Andrews in 2015.
“The Open was a pretty disappointing last week,” Leishman said. “All the signs were pretty good leading in to Portrush; my practice rounds were productive but then I played really poorly come tournament time.”
But Leishman is using his Open flop as motivation to finish the US PGA Tour season strong, given there is $US80m ($A115m) to play for across the next five tournaments.
This week’s no-cut WGC in Memphis boasts a $US10m ($A14m) purse, while a $US10m bonus pool is awarded to the top-10 finishers on the FedEx Cup points race at the conclusion of the regular season at next week’s Wyndham Championship in North Carolina.
The following week, the US PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup play-offs begin, where $US60m ($A86m) is on offer across three events.
“The Open has fired me up for the rest of the year,” Leishman said. “I’ll try and work hard during the next month as there are a lot of big tournaments, a lot to play for.
“There’s no reason I can’t win an event in the next month.”
The WGC Invitational in Memphis replaces the former WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio and will this week feature 45 of the world’s top 50 golfers.
The only top 50 golfers to skip the event are Rickie Fowler, Francesco Molinari, Bernd Wiesberger, Tiger Woods and Lowry.