This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.
Marc Leishman got out of the gate fast in 2018 with five top-10s in five months. He tied for ninth at the Masters and was runner-up at the Byron Nelson. Over the next five months … crickets, zero top-10s. Heck, Leishman didn't even finish top-10 in the 30-man Tour Championship, or for that matter in the top-20. He had fallen from 12th in the world to 24th.
So coming into the CIMB Classic, you'd be forgiven for bypassing Leishman. But you, and us, also would've been left shaking our heads, as that very same Leishman bludgeoned the field at TPC Kuala Lumpur. He won by a whopping five strokes over the trio of Emiliano Grillo, Chesson Hadley and Bronson Burgoon.
Leishman ran off four straight birdies from Nos. 2 to 5 on Sunday and, after connecting on a long-range birdie on No. 9 to go out in 31, Frank Nobilo on the Golf Channel said that putt was a "dagger." It surely at the time seemed premature but proved to be spot on, and the competitive portion of the tournament was in fact over. The announcers valiantly did their best, saying things along the lines of: If Leishman bogeys here while so-and-so bogeys … two-shot swing … blah, blah, blah." It was over.
You could say that coming into the week Leishman had been slumping, at least for a golfer who spends his days residing between No. 10 and No. 25 in the world. And you'd be correct. Sort of.