Leishman stands by caddie after Aussie Open incident


Aussie Marc Leishman has come to the defense of his caddie, Matt Kelly, after Kelly came to blows with another looper earlier this week at the Australian Open.

According to multiple media reports, Kelly got into an altercation with Grant Buchanan, who caddies for fellow Australian James Nitties, while both players were warming up prior to Thursday's opening round. Leishman, who won earlier this year at the Travelers Championship, was adamant that his man was not to blame for the incident.

'I was there and he (Kelly) didn't do anything,' Leishman said according to the New Zealand-based site Stuff.co. 'He stood there, copped what he got and didn't do anything apart from that. I was proud of him, to be honest.'

The PGA Tour of Australasia condemned the incident, and a decision on potential fines is expected by the end of next week according to the report. Leishman remained confident that he and Kelly would emerge from the incident unscathed.

'I don't think me or Matty have anything to worry about,' he added.

According to the report, Buchanan claimed the incident was sparked by comments from Kelly taunting Nitties' 'failure to crack' the PGA Tour. While Leishman is exempt on the PGA Tour through 2014 thanks to his win in Hartford, Nitties finished 107th on the Web.com Tour money list in 2012. Like Leishman, Nitties was quick to defend his right-hand man.

'I don't know both stories but Grant is one of my best friends, we go way back and I know he's a great person,' he added according to the report.

After making the cut on the number, Nitties rallied with a 3-under 69 Saturday to move into a tie for 33rd at 1-over 217 entering the final round, eight shots off the pace. Following his 4-over 76 in the third round, Leishman finds himself one shot further back in a tie for 40th.