Marc Leishman was last night named the 2017 Greg Norman Medal recipient ahead of the Australian PGA Championship held at RACV Royal Pines Resort from 30 November – 3 December.
The coveted award has capped off a career year for Leishman who won the BMW Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA TOUR.
He said the prospect of being named the Greg Norman Medal winner played a big part in his decision to tee it up on the Gold Coast this week rather than Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge event.
That and a nudge from wife Audrey sealed the deal.
“With my form I thought I had a pretty good chance of winning it, I just wanted to be there if I was to win,” Leishman said.
“It's something that hopefully I will get another chance to win it and hopefully I will win it again, but I think if I hadn't had come back and won it and wasn't there to accept the award, I would have regretted it. I try and avoid having any regrets.
“My wife was pushing me out the door pretty much. She's like, "You've really got to go." To not come back to Australia for a year is hard. We've got family in America and all that and of course we want to come back, but sometimes you've got to put your family first.
“But when you've got the support of your wife to do it, that was a big thing along with obviously the medal.”
The accolades off the course are certainly appreciated by Leishman but come his tee time on Thursday, his eyes are well and truly focused on the Kirkwood Cup, something he’d love to etch his name into.
“You grow up and these are the tournaments that you watch as a kid and you see your idols playing them and winning them and you want to win them, I'm no different.
“I've seen my friends win them now and I would love to hoist the Kirkwood Cup up on Sunday, but you've got to play really good golf and just hope that someone else doesn't play better than you.”
Leishman said he certainly didn’t ear mark the BMW and Arnold Palmer Invitational as tournaments he would set out to win, but rather focusing on the small things and taking the results as they come.
The next step for the Warrnambool local is to now win an elusive Major.
“Goal‑wise, I don't really set like result goals. I try and just do everything right and let the results take care of themselves. That's what I did this year and it worked pretty well, so I'll try and do the same.
“Having said that, to contend in a Major and hopefully win a Major would be the main goal. A lot of things have to go right to do that. There's only four Majors every year,” added Leishman.
“You've got to play well on the right week. So if I can just keep playing the way I have been, play well more consistently, I feel like that gives me my best chance to try and contend and win Majors.”
It’s the logical next step in Leishman’s career who said he’s used to climbing steadily through his career.
“I think my whole career's been baby steps. I started out on the Von Nida Tour (now the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia) here and worked my way to Korea and then onto the Web.com Tour and the PGA TOUR and won the Travelers and worked up to a European Tour event and Bay Hill and a playoff (FedEx Cup) event, so I feel like the next step is to try and win a Major.
“So I'll do everything I can to try and do that, try and keep the balance really good in life and golf and I feel that gives me my best chance.”
Marc Leishman tees off for round one of the Australian PGA Championship at 11:10am alongside defending champion Harold Varner III and Matt Jones.
For full tee times visit pga.org.au.
General admission to the Australian PGA Championship is $25* when purchased at the gate or via Ticketmaster with children, 16 and under, granted free admission when attending with a paying adult.
Since Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Marc Leishman were announced to play the Australian PGA Championship, Saturday and Sunday tickets to the Lexus Marquee on the Soniq Million Dollar Hole and the Kirkwood Club have sold out. Fans who want to join in the festival atmosphere are encouraged to book tickets from Thursday to Friday quickly due to unprecedented demand.
Limited corporate hospitality options are still available, please visit pgachampionship.com.au.
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