'Old' Texan Leonard comfortable playing for fun
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Don’t look now, but Justin Leonard is 41 and in his 20th full year on the PGA Tour. The 12-time winner has lived through highs (1997 Open Championship victory) and lows (140th in 2012 earnings). Through it all, he tells The Forecaddie that he’s a changed man who is finally at peace.
“In the last year I’ve become very comfortable with myself,” the father of four (ages 3-10) tells The Man Out Front. “It has helped me look beyond the game. I went through a period where I identified with my game and score too much. I’m happy to say I don’t do that anymore.”
Interestingly, asked when his last victory was, Leonard told The Forecaddie he didn’t know. That’s a marked change for someone whose mood and personality for years reflected his score that day.
“I could have told you how many days it was (before),” he said. (Trivia buffs, take note: Leonard has not won since 2008, in Memphis.)
His newfound peace is paying off, apparently. He already has two top-6 finishes this season, including a tie for third at the Humana Challenge.
Leonard still wants to win, “but it won’t define me like it used to,” he said. “It won’t keep me up at night where I’m thinking that I didn’t hit enough greens. The game is fun now, instead of all-encompassing.”
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