PGA of Australia
They are the defending champions and they are playing on home soil, there is a lot on the line for Team Australia this week at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf.
In 2013 Adam Scott and Jason Day won the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf but it is a new look Australian team that will tee off at Kingston Heath Golf Club this week with Marc Leishman replacing Day in the line-up.
“I saw the World Cup trophy at home just the other week and knowing I was coming here brought back a lot of good memories,” said Scott.
“If we were able to win in this format, I think it would be a great memory for Marc and I to share.
“There’s nothing much better than winning on home soil. I’m sure we’ll have lots of support out there this week, so hopefully we can produce good golf and everyone gets excited coming out there.”
After Day was forced to withdraw with a back injury Leishman was quick to make his availability known to Scott.
Delighted to be selected, this will be Leishman’s first time representing his country as a Professional.
“I just sort of sent Adam a quick text, if Jason isn’t able to play, I said I would love to be there,” said Leishman.
“I’ve been lucky enough to represent my country as an amateur but never as a Professional. To be able to play next to Scotty in what’s pretty much my hometown on one of my favorite golf courses in the world; that was a pretty special call to get from Adam.”
Scott is equally pleased to be representing Australia again, “we’re very proud Aussies, we’re a very proud sporting country. Marc and I play overseas 99 percent of the year and I feel like I represent Australia every week I tee it up.
“Even though I may not be playing for Australia that week I’m announced on the tee every week from Australia and I certainly feel proud about that,” explained Scott.
“But this week being a team event, it’s slightly different. There aren’t any team events other than this that we play in representing Australia. The Presidents Cup, sure, we represent Australia but the team is the internationals. I think this is a unique opportunity for us.”
With Scott being a member at Kingston Heath and Leishman, from Victoria, having played the course numerous times the pair is being touted as favourites amongst the 28 teams.
“Marc would have played here a fair bit growing up, and having won the Aussie Masters here a few years ago, I certainly feel pretty comfortable around here,” said Scott.
“Maybe a few members’ bounces this week, wouldn’t go astray. But I think we’re in for a good week.”
However the Australian duo isn’t discounting their competition with plenty of talent amongst the 56 players.
“The Americans are going to be very strong. Obviously Rickie has proved himself over the last few years and Jimmy’s a major champion so they’re going to be a strong team. I think the Japanese team of Hideki and Ryo are going to be really strong,” said Leishman, with Scott adding some names into the mix.
“The Swedish team. I think Hideki and Alex Noren are the two hottest players in the world at the moment and probably can’t be overlooked. I think there are a lot of teams that definitely could surprise people this week,” said Scott.
“I think straightaway of Ireland with Shane and Graeme, they’ve grown up on somewhat similar style green complexes ‑‑ have a good chance to shoot good scores this week.
“I think there’s too many to say that we’re favourites or who our competition is. There’s so many good players.”
Scott and Leishman will tee off on Thursday playing alongside Team USA; Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker.
“It’s a good pairing. It will be a fun group, I think. A lot of people enjoy watching us play with the American guys,” said Scott.
“But it doesn’t really matter who we play. I think the important thing for us is a solid round tomorrow in the tougher format. That’s what we’ve got to do well.”
Team Australia and Team USA will be on course at Kingston Heath at 12.10pm. The first round tees off at 10.30am with Team India and Team Malaysia leading out the field at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf.