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Leishman Out to Tidy Up Résumé at World Cup

Marc Leishman is the highest ranked player at this week's World Cup of Golf in Melbourne. (Photo: Henry Peters)
Marc Leishman admits there's one glaring omission from his Australasian playing resume: victory in a major event on home soil.

The Victorian teams up with Queenslander Cameron Smith to represent Australia at the World Cup of Golf at The Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne beginning on Thursday.

World No. 21 Leishman is the highest ranked player among the 28 nations represented and alongside World No. 33 Smith, the Australians have been installed as the bookies' favourites to hoist the teams event's enormous trophy on Sunday afternoon.

The pair fronted a media conference at Metropolitan earlier today and Leishman - whose biggest win in Australian is the 2008 Victorian PGA - said the absence of a major Australian victory on his resume is obvious.

"As an Australian golfer I would say there's a little hole in there. It's something that I would like to change. Like I said, I haven't really played as much as I would have liked in Australia. With a young family, that makes it difficult.  As they get older and they enjoy coming out here, I think hopefully I'll be able to play more events and give myself more of a chance."

Leishman - who paired with Adam Scott at the 2016 World Cup at nearby Kingston Heath Golf Club - is making his second appearance at the biennial teams event while reigning Australian PGA champion Smith is representing Australia for the first time as a professional.

There are no official team uniforms for the World Cup, which mixes two rounds of four-ball best ball with two rounds of foursomes, but the Australians said they will attempt to colour-coordinate outfits.

"We've discussed it and we're going to try our hardest," Smith said. 

"Obviously two different companies with the shirts and everything. I think it will - we'll have the same pants on every day, that's kind of easy to match, but the shirts might be a little bit harder, but we're going to try and match something up."

Leishman and Smith agreed that their growing friendship off the golf course lends itself to a strong performance this week, particularly in foursomes on days two and four.

"Leish and I have become pretty good mates over the past probably year and a bit," Smith said. "Played practice rounds and just going out for dinner and hung in locker rooms and stuff like that, so we got to know each other really well."

"I think having similar personalities off the golf course, but we're both very determined on it, is a pretty good combination," Leishman added. "We'll appear laid back, I think, out there."

"Don't be mistaken if we look like we're having too much fun, we're very determined and competitive people."

Metropolitan's trademark bunkers, which cut into the edges of the greens, are sure to keep those with limited sandbelt golf experience on notice, though Leishman said the greens appear softer than what is normally the case at the famed layout.

"It's probably not as fast, the greens, as what I've played it," the Warrnambool native said. "We've always played it in [Golf Victoria] pennant and that's the day of the year they try to make the courses as difficult as possible and the greens as fast and showcase their golf course."  

"I think they want to make it a little more exciting for the fans in this event, make it more birdie-able so you can actually take a few chances. I think it's going to play a little bit different, but I think it's still an advantage to have played here a few times. Just knowing the wind and the heaviness of the wind, it can be a pretty brutal wind."

The Australians tee off in the final group for Thursday's opening round at 11.35am alongside the US team of Matt Kuchar and Kyle Stanley.


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