Leishman sprinted past world No.2 Rory McIlroy and left crowd favourite Tiger Woods in his wake to win the Farmers Insurance Open on the Californian coast with a superb seven-under-par 65 in the final round.
"That was one of the more impressive things throughout his entire career".
Woods started his third round strong at the Farmers Insurance Open but ended up shooting a 3-under 69. He also knew Jon Rahm was the only one who could catch him.
The third round started two hours late because of heavy fog, and even when the sun broke through, there wasn't much clarity on the leaderboard with so many in contention. Bryant, who was 41, was drafted June that year in by the Charlotte before being traded to the Lakers and made his National Basketball Association debut in November that year.
"It was important to save the round after I made a bogey back there", Woods said.
After settling for par on the second hole, Woods sank another birdie putt on the third to get to 6 under pull within four of second-round leader Ryan Palmer, who had yet to tee off.
After pitching a few yards short of the pin, his ball bounced twice before hopping into the cup and disappearing for a split-second, but the cheers and applause from the gallery were suddenly replaced by gasps of astonishment. After flubbing a chip shot from just off the green, Woods chipped in his next shot to save par and keep his momentum.
Leishman's Odyssey Versa #6 with a black/white/black stripe pattern on the head was without question the difference-making club Sunday, starting right off with a 41-footer for birdie at the first.
Leishman, who started the final round four strokes behind Rahm in a tie for seventh, made birdies on five of the first eight holes and added three more on the back, where he took his only bogey at No. 17 while recording a score of 15-under 273. He tapped in for the birdie to complete a stretch of six holes with four birdies, an eagle and a bogey. He needed an eagle on the par-5 18th to force a playoff, and his attempt from just outside 50 feet died off to the left.
And all of Woods' momentum seemed to be lost.
Kobe and Tiger have made a career of taking sports fans away from reality, but Sunday was one of those days that shakes you back to earth.
As for the FedExCup Standings, the win helps propel Leishman from 49th to 7th place with 734 points.
The event, which was last staged in 2010, has been pencilled in for August 23-25 with the venue yet to be decided.
Rahm was at 12-under 204 as he goes for his fourth PGA Tour victory, and 11th worldwide. "Just devastating really", said Leishman.
Shortly afterward, Woods spoke briefly about Bryant's passing, obviously struggling to come to terms with the shocking news. Kind of had a good feeling, but you never know what your week's going to be like.
Woods next chance to set the record is expected to come in The Genesis Invitational Feb. 13-16 in Pacific Palisades, which he has announced he will play in. He's skipping next week's Waste Management Phoenix Open and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am the following week.