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Leishman delivers first surprise with win over Rose

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SAN FRANCISCO – Marc Leishman put the first points on the board on Wednesday at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play, a 3-and-2 victory over Justin Rose, and has emerged as the sentimental favorite at Harding Park.

Leishman withdrew from the Masters earlier this month after his wife, Audrey, was placed into a medically-induced coma as she battled acute respiratory distress and toxic shock syndrome.

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The Australian returned to action last week at the Zurich Classic, tying for 28th place, and made quick work of Rose – who won last week’s event in New Orleans – on Wednesday, making birdie on two of his last four holes to win a match in which he never trailed.

It’s a solid start considering the emotional extremes he has been through the last few weeks, but it was Audrey’s improving condition that he was most pleased about.

“She’s a lot better than she was a few weeks ago. She’s up and around the house and may go to The Players next week,” Leishman said.