VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Paused by the pandemic for more than three months, next week at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth - the PGA TOUR restarts its schedule.
"It's going to be nice to get back out there," admitted Virginia Beach's Marc Leishman, currently 15th in the official world golf rankings.
Leishman, who says he played golf 'five or six times' during the first 10 weeks of the layoff, has been using the lengthy break to practice his passion. No, not golf. Grass.
"I've had nothing else to do," Leishman said smiling. "It's exercise for me. I don't go to the gym, so that keeps me somewhat in shape - especially when it's hot. It makes you earn your beer at the end of the day. I like to earn it, not just have it."
Well, we hope he's thirsty.
Just eight weeks ago, Leishman's backyard was manicured - but brown. Today, it's green and nearly flawless.
The lawn features fairway grass cut like the courses on the PGA TOUR. The yard has two greens - one guarded by a water hazard (the family pool). Marc practices out back, often alone. Unless he's joined by his eight year-old son Harvey, who clearly spends some time out there because he delivered multiple impressive shots while our News 3 cameras were rolling.
The pristine conditions are a payoff from the layoff.
"I could do stuff I'd normally have to worry about doing," Leishman explained to News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler. "I could shovel sand and knowing I had a couple months to recover if I happen to hurt myself. It's been fun to get it looking good."
When Marc returns to his 'real job' next week on the PGA TOUR, in a way - it will be similar to working out in his backyard in Virginia Beach. Why? The first few tournaments of the TOUR's restart will be played without fans in attendance.
"It's going to be interesting to see where guys draw their energy from," Leishman, a five-time winner on the PGA TOUR noted. "Normally, if you're a little flat - you can draw energy from the crowd."
And if practice makes perfect, Marc might earn his beer at the end of next week's tournament.