The performance of Australians Jason Day, Marc Leishman and Adam Scott will be crucial in the International team’s attempt to win the Presidents Cup for just the second time when the matches get underway this week in New Jersey.
On World Ranking alone the Down Under trio are a key part of the team but they also bring much needed major success, leadership and recent form to the team room.
Day and Scott own half of the majors on the International team resume with South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel the other half while Marc Leishman is one of the world’s form players heading to Liberty National.
But more than play on the course it will be Australia’s Adam Scott, in particular, who will take on the responsibility of motivating and leading the team.
Making his eighth appearance in the event, double the number of next most capped Charl Schwartzel, Scott not only has the most experience but easily the most desire.
He has made no secret of his displeasure at losing on seven straight occasions and his determination to turn the ledger the other way before his playing career is over is both real and, hopefully, infectious.
Scott has had an indifferent year on the PGA TOUR but none of that will matter when the gun goes off Thursday afternoon for the opening foursomes matches.
The four rookies in the team, and his fellow veterans, will be looking to the 2013 Masters champion for inspiration and there is little doubt he will deliver.
Jason Day is the highest ranked of the Australians and brings perhaps the most explosive game of the 12 International players to the course.
A former World Number One and the 2015 PGA champions Day’s talent is beyond question despite some erratic form for much of 2017.
Like Scott, however, none of that will be of any consequence come Thursday, more especially given the matchplay format.
Day’s bugbear much of 2017 has been uncharacteristic big numbers that have ruined several of his strokeplay rounds but the penalty for those mistakes in matchplay is less severe.
While Day and Scott will be at the forefront of the team both on and off the course Marc Leishman’s naturally understated style, combined with his excellent current form, will make him a huge asset to captain Nick Price.
Leishman’s recent play has been world class and he was one of the stars of the 2015 squad when he accounted for Jordan Spieth in the Sunday singles.
His 2013 victory over Matt Kuchar was also classic Leishman, the laid-back Victorian not fazed by reputations or bearing the underdog tag.
The 2015 Presidents Cup was just the third time in the history of the event that the Internationals made it a genuine contest and they will be keen to do so again this year.
But playing on American soil it will require the whole team, but Australia’s three representatives in particular, to be at their brilliant best if they are to achieve that goal
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