Marc Leishman is committed to play in the Australian PGA on the Gold Coast at the end of November and the first days of December, something that should boost the profile of the tournament.
This year’s event will be held at RACV Royal Pines Resort just a bit to the northwest of Gold Coast proper. The affair seems to be shaping up as one of the best in years, with many Aussie golf pros seemingly recommitting to advancing the game in Australia.
Greg Chalmers, Rod Pampling and Matt Jones are scheduled, along with Cameron Smith and Adam Scott, to represent the homeland. Masters winner Sergio Garcia will add some star power.
Leishman is the prohibitive favourite to win the Greg Norman Medal as the top Australian golfer of 2017. His season sent Adam Scott and Jason Day to the wings, as both those golfers endured sub-par years, which means bad, unlike the typical golf context, where sub-par is good.
Leishman has played the Australian PGA three times since it moved to Royal Pines, in 2013, 2014 and 2016. He never finished better than 11th in any of those three appearances and it is a certainty that the 34-year-old would like nothing better than to add a win to his collection.
He had his best season in 2017 and achieved his highest world ranking ever, moving up to 13th. He won twice on the USPGA tour this year and earned a spot on the international side for the Presidents Cup.
He was the top Australian in the British Open, which is another reason why he has such a good opportunity to win the Australian PGA.
The Greg Norman Medal will be presented in pre-tournament festivities and of the top Australian golfers, it would seem as though young Cameron Smith is the only other in the conversation.
The star-studded player list has had an immediate impact for the tournament, spurring brisk sales of hospitality packages, which is a welcome sight, as the Australian PGA in recent years had fallen on hard times.