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Leishman hopes to help Newtown heal while defending Travelers Championship title

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    FILE - In this June 24, 2012, file photo, Marc Leishman, of Australia, celebrates with the trophy after winning the Travelers Championship golf tournament in Cromwell, Conn. When Leishman heard about the rampage in Newtown, he went to a map to see how far the school was from the course where months earlier he picked up his first PGA Tour victory. Next month, when he returns to defend his title, he wants to help in the healing process. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham, File) (The Associated Press)

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    Marc Leishman, of Australia, hits from a bunker on the second hole during the third round of The Players championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass, Saturday, May 11, 2013, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (The Associated Press)

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    Marc Leishman, of Australia, watches his shot from the first fairway during the final round of The Players championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass, Sunday, May 12, 2013, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (The Associated Press)

When Australian golfer Marc Leishman heard about the December school shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, he immediately went to a map.

The 29-year-old won his first and so-far only PGA Tour event last June at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, and wanted to see how far away Newtown was from the TPC River Highlands. The answer was just 48 miles.

Leishman returns to Connecticut next month to defend his Travelers title and was back Tuesday for the tournament's annual media day.

He told The Associated Press he feels connected to the state and would like to meet some of the families of the victims, if it can be arranged. Tournament director Nathan Grube says they have been working with Newtown officials to figure out how to honor the 26 people killed at the school.

He said they would like to do something that would be educational and long-term, but said if any of the families want to meet golfers during the tournament, that can be arranged.