Leish makes tough call picking Smith for World Cup

He’s already shown himself to be a ‘team’ player and so ace Victorian professional Marc Leishman had little hesitation calling on Cameron Smith to partner him at Metropolitan in November for the $US7m World Cup of Golf.

Leishman, at No 22, will be the highest-rated player in the official world rankings to take part in the November 22-25 event after fellow Australian Jason Day forfeited his spot in the Australian team to prepare for the birth of his third child.

Marc Leishman Marc Leishman (Credit: PGA Australia)

Being the next-highest ranked Australian, Leishman then earned his call-up and was asked who he would like to partner him in the two-man teams’ event featuring the top 28 available nations in the world rankings.

Choosing Cameron Smith meant ‘Leish’ had to omit his good mate Adam Scott after deciding the 33rd-ranked Smith deserved the spot more than the 41st-ranked Scott.

“I’m really excited to take Cam; he’s going to bring a lot of enthusiasm because it’s his debut for an Australian team as a professional golfer,” said Leishman.

“It was a really hard phone call to Scotty. He’s a close mate and any time you have to tell a mate you’re not picking him it is difficult.”

“It’s just that Cam has been playing too well not to pick him.”

“Cam loves team sports and I know he’ll step up once we’re playing for Australia.”

There’ll be plenty of other players present who will draw a crowd too.

Among them will be England’s Ian Poulter, who looks likely to partner world No 26 Tyrell Hatton in the World Cup.

Team USA’s top eligible player in this year’s Cup will be world No.27 Kyle Stanley while other stars already confirmed for the Cup include Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, South Africa’s Branden Grace and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen, who is one of the defending champions.

Teams will compete for a $US2.6m winner’s share of the event’s $7m purse.

RECENT WINNERS

  • 2016 – Soren Kjeldsen, Thorbjorn Olesen
  • 2013 – Jason Day, Adam Scott
  • 2011 – Matt Kuchar, Gary Woodland
  • 2009 – Edoardo Molinari, Francesco Molinari
  • 2008 – Robert Karlsson, Henrik Stenson
  • 2007 – Colin Montgomerie, Marc Warren
  • 2006 – Bernhard Langer, Marcel Siem
  • 2005 – Bradley Dredge, Stephen Dodd
  • 2004 – Paul Casey, Luke Donald
  • 2003 – Trevor Immelman, Rory Sabbatini
  • 2002 – Toshi Izawa, Shigeki Maruyama
  • 2001 – Ernie Els, Retief Goosen
  • 2000 – Tiger Woods, David Duval
  • 1999 – Mark O’Meara, Tiger Woods
  • 1998 – David Carter, Nick Faldo
  • 1997 – Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley
  • 1996 – Ernie Els, Wayne Westner
  • 1995 – Fred Couples, Davis Love III
  • 1994 – Fred Couples, Davis Love III
  • 1993 – Fred Couples, Davis Love III
  • 1992 – Fred Couples, Davis Love III
  • 1991 – Anders Forsbrand, Per-Ulrik Johansson
  • 1990 – Torsten Gideon, Bernhard Langer
  • 1989 – Peter Fowler, Wayne Grady