“Nothing fazes us too much,” says Aussie Marc Leishman, but don’t let the laidback duo of Leishman and Cameron Smith fool you.
Team Australia will be a force to be reckoned with when they tee it up in the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf on home soil next month.
Coming into the tournament fresh from winning the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, world number 16 Marc Leishman will spearhead the team.
However his teammate Smith is no stranger to team success. Last year he combined with Swede Jonas Blixt to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans before going on to win the Australian PGA Championship, a title he will defend the week following the World Cup.
“He (Smith) is an awesome player, winning the Australian PGA, winning anything is awesome,” said Leishman of his teammate.
“I am learning from him, too. We have played a fair few practice rounds together and I have had to lift my game to keep up with him.
“His wedge play impresses me a lot and it has made me work harder at my own. That paid off this week in Malaysia.
“I think wedge play is going to be really important at the World Cup and hopefully we can play well and have a good week.”
Bonding as a team, Smith was on hand at TPC Kuala Lumpur to help Leishman celebrate his fourth career PGA TOUR victory after the pair spent some quality time together during the week.
“It was nice to have someone to celebrate with. It’s an individual sport so it’s good to have that,” added Leishman.
“Last year I was there when Cam won (the Australian PGA Championship) and celebrated with him, so it was great having him there just off the 18th green.
“We had dinner together almost every night last week and are just becoming better and better friends.”
It’s this camaraderie that Leishman believes will be a critical factor to their chances at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf.
“Chemistry is important,” continued Leishman.
“We want to have a successful World Cup and Presidents Cup and I think our friendship is going to help that.
“You don’t want to feel any pressure to hit good shots from your partner. We are obviously doing our best and you don’t want to feel any extra pressure that they are going to be annoyed if you don’t hit a great shot.
“Hopefully we don’t hit many bad shots, but if we do, when you’re friends you can have a laugh about it and hit it again.”
Smith agrees that their budding friendship and Leishman’s good play will provide them the chance to secure a win for Team Australia.
“I am really looking forward to the World Cup. My partner is coming into some good form which is nice so hopefully I can lean on him and he can do the rest,” Smith said with a laugh.
“I think Leish and I will bond well together. We have been playing a lot of practice rounds together and getting to know each other a little better.
“I really can’t see why we won’t put up a good show down there in Melbourne. We both love Melbourne courses, we love the Aussie firm and fast set-up.
“So if everything is going our way, there is no reason why we shouldn’t give it a good crack.”
Leishman would dearly love to win the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf in Melbourne but knows he and Smith will need to produce their best golf to do so.
“I haven’t won a big one in Australia. That’s certainly really important to me, to try and tick that off the list,” said Leishman who’s only win Down Under was at the 2008 Victorian PGA Championship, the year before his rookie season on the PGA TOUR.
“I have been playing well, Cam has been playing well but there are a lot of great players playing and a lot of strong teams.
“Whoever wins is going to have to play very well to do so.
“Cam and I are very excited to get down there and get into it. We are excited to play the golf course and play in front of the home crowds and hopefully play very well and win.”
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