Australian duo “all in” for Japan Olympics

Smithand Leishman

Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman have both said that they are committed to representing Australia at the Olympic Games this summer, should they qualify. 

Fresh from their team victory at the Zurich Classic at the weekend, the Aussie pair, who triumphed over their South African counterparts, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel in a playoff, have firmly pencilled in the Olympic Games on their schedules.

“I’m all in,” said Marc Leishman when asked about his feelings towards the rescheduled Olympic Games in Japan.

“It would be huge. I would love to contend for any medal, to be honest. Obviously, you want to go for gold. But something I never ever thought I would do would be to have a chance to win an Olympic medal. 

"Obviously, I've got to get on the team first. But, yeah, I'm excited about the chance of being there and contending for that and really excited.”

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Neither Leishman or Smith competed in the 2016 Games in Rio and their hunger to represent their country this time round is evident.

Smith, 27, who picked up his third PGA Tour win and second at the Zurich Classic on Sunday, echoed his countryman’s sentiments, bucking the trend of top pros pulling out of the tournament.

“Any chance I can get to put on the green and gold or a team shirt I'm all in,” said Smith. “I'm a hundred percent. So, yeah, I was kind of bummed I didn't get in the team four years ago. It was really a goal of mine. And, I'll be thrilled if I'm there and contending on the weekend for a gold medal.”

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The field for the Olympic Games, which is scheduled to take place from July 29 to August 1, is restricted to 60 players, with the top-15 in the Official World Golf Ranking guaranteed spots, so long as there are no more than four players from any given country. Beyond the top-15, the field is determined by the OWGR with a limit of two players per country that does not already have two or more players among the top-15.

Smith is currently the highest ranked Australian in the OWGR at 25th, meaning he would currently qualify. Leishman is the third-ranked Aussie in the world at 37th, but with Adam Scott recently announcing his intentions of skipping the Games, he too would make his Olympic debut.

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World No.1 Dustin Johnson also recently ruled himself out of competing in Japan, saying that he wants to “focus on playing the PGA Tour”.

Golf will be played for just the second time at the Olympic Games for more than a century this summer, following its reinstatement to the list of Olympic sports in 2016.

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