Pride on the line for new Aussie duo
THE patriotism of the national legends that came before Marc Leishman continues to stir his desire to play for, and in Australia no matter how difficult his US success makes it to get home.
Leishman will team up with rising star Cameron Smith for Australia in November's World Cup of golf at Melbourne's Metropolitan Golf Course and relishes the chance to fly the national flag whenever he can.
He'll play in a fourth Presidents Cup next year, at Royal Melbourne, and has bold ambitions to play at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, declaring he "jump all over that".
And despite the tyranny of distance, living in the US with his wife and three children, Leishman, from Warrnambool, said making the time to get to Australia and play would always be a priority.
"I remember going to the events when I was a kid and watching Greg Norman and Ian Baker Finch play, and Wayne Grady and all the guys came back. I'll never forget that," Leishman said on Monday from the US.
"That's something that I want to give the kids as well, the guys that they see play on TV play in America every week, I think they need to see us play in person.
"Being one of those guys, I'll certainly play as much as I can in Australia. With three kids at home, it's hard sometimes but I'll certainly do everything I can to get home."
Leishman, last year's Greg Norman medallist, will also play in the Australian PGA on the Gold Coast where his World Cup partner Smith will be the defending champion.
Smith, 25, has had a career year highlighted by finishing tied for fifth at the Masters and said making the field at Augusta and getting a World Cup spot were the 2018 boxes he was desperate to tick.
"To tick both of those off in one year, it's just been an unreal year basically," said Smith, who has rocketed to 33 on the world rankings.
"Yeah, whenever I'm in a team environment, I always seem to just, you know, step up a notch. Not that I'm not giving it my best every week, but yeah, there's something inside me that changes.
"Being in Australia as well, I think, would just make it even more special if we could knock it off. I can't wait for the week."
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