World Cup gives Leishman, Smith food for thought

BEERS and pizza in a hotel pool in Malaysia could prove crucial building blocks in Australia’s pursuit of November’s World Cup of Golf in Melbourne.

That’s how Aussie duo Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith celebrated Leishman’s five-shot victory at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, a win which netted the Victorian $1.7 million and moved him in to the top 50 all-time money earners on the US PGA Tour.

Smith, who finished tied for 22nd in Malaysia, took a greenside selfie with the champ as Leishman walked off the 18th and the pair dined together every night during the event trying to build the perfect off-course chemistry for the World Cup.

They played practice rounds too in order to work out how their on-course partnership may work at Metropolitan where the duo will start the event as favourites.

“We had dinner together almost every night and are becoming better and better friends. We want to have a successful World Cup and those friendships are going to help that. It was nice to have someone to celebrate with too,” Leishman said on Monday.

Marc Leishman of Australia raises his trophy after winning the CIMB Classic in Malaysia on Sunday. Picture: APSource:AP

“(Smith) is an awesome player, winning the Australian PGA last year, or winning anything is awesome. I am learning from him as well. We played a fair few practice rounds together and I have had to lift my game to keep up with him.

“That chemistry is important too. You need to not feel any pressure from your partner to hit good shots. We’re doing our best but you don’t want extra pressure from them being annoyed if you hit a bad shot.

“If you are friends, hopefully we don’t hit too many shots, but if we do you have a laugh about it, go and play it and hit it again.”

Leishman, 34, took his career earnings in the US to more than $34 million with the win, his fourth on the US PGA Tour.

So excited to represent Australia at the 2018 @WorldCupofGolf! Can’t wait to get back to @Melbourne in November.

The father of three said he’s no longer playing with the pressure to perform for his “livelihood” could and focus all his energies on getting the best of his talent.

“I think it’s a lot easier now, not having to play for my livelihood. I’ve got my goals and all that but I don’t think about the money at all. I’m very lucky to be in that situation,” Leishman said on Monday.

“I’m just trying to … if I’ve got a chance to win I’m going to play and win, not play to not mess up and finish second and third. I’ll take chances and try and win.”

Leishman is adamant he’s capable of winning a major championship and believes the combination of a calm outward demeanour, matched with a growing determination, is his secret recipe to winning.

Australian stars (l-r) Marc Leishman, Jason Day and Cameron Smith ahead of the PGA Championship in August. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

“Every shot, every tournament I am trying to do my best and as long as I do that, and never give up, and give it my all, that’s all you can do,” Leishman said.

“A lot of people put pressure on themselves and that’s not something I do. I practice hard so when I get in a situation like I did on Sunday, that’s when you test yourself if you are doing the right things. I enjoy that, putting myself to the test.

“There’s not pressure as in “you have to win”, but making sure I do everything I can, and that’s good enough. It’s great to leave with a trophy … but there’s a lot of good players out here and you can’t win them all.”

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Originally published as World Cup gives Leishman, Smith food for thought

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