Leonard's Texas Turnaround
Analysis by Claude Harmon III
My father, Butch, and I have worked hard with Justin to tighten up his swing. That work, plus Justin's getting stronger and fitter, has resulted in added power and a more consistent swing. His address is poised, with his head behind the ball. His take-away is compact and parallel at the top. Most golfers try to add power by lengthening their swings, but they should really try the opposite: Get control of the club by controlling the length of the backswing. Justin has reduced excess movement in his action and now makes a very contained move toward the ball. His impact position is powerful, his follow-through perfectly balanced. He is hitting the ball farther, with much less effort and more control than ever before.
Justin Leonard By the Book
CURRENT WORLD RANK: 15
PGA TOUR CAREER MONEY RANK: 13 ($13,733,234)
PGA TOUR VICTORIES: 7, including WorldCom Classic (2002), Texas Open at La Cantera (2001, 2000) and the Players Championship (1998)
THE MAJORS: Best finishes are first in the British Open (1997), second in the PGA Championship (1997), tied for seventh in the Masters (1997) and tied for twelfth in the U.S. Open (2002)
NATIONAL TEAMS: Ryder Cup (1999, 1997); Presidents Cup (1998, 1996); World Cup (1997); Dunhill Cup (1997); Walker Cup (1993); World Amateur (1992)
AMATEUR RECORD: Played in eight PGA Tour events as an amateur, making five cuts; member of winning 1993 Walker Cup team; only golfer in Southwest Conference history to win four consecutive conference championships; all-American at University of Texas (1992-94); winner of 1994 Dave Williams Award for excellence in golf; 1992 U.S. Amateur champion
EPIC MOMENT: His forty-five-foot putt on the Country Club's seventeenth during his Sunday singles match with Jose Maria Olazabal earned the half point that gave the Ryder Cup to the Americans.