As the only selection possible, marc Leishman is completely deserving of his accolade as the recipient of the Greg Norman medal as the best performing Australian golfer in 2017.
The medal is new, having been instituted in 2015, when it went to Jason Day in that year and 2016, but Leishman’s past year on the PGA Tour, with two wins, the first in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the second the BMW Championship during the FedEx Cup playoff series, propelled him to number 14 in the world rankings.
The win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational means that he will have his PGA card for the Tour through 2020, so all he need do going forward is to concentrate on playing his best golf, without status worries hanging over his head.
He has kept at it, too. In the early going of the 2018 season, he has played twice and already has over $US 1 million in the bag and has moved up to 13th in the FedEx Cup rankings.
Leishman is scheduled to play in the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast. He is listed as the favourite and a win would move him ahead of Jason Day in the rankings.
In Aussie dollars, he took in close to $8 million for the year.
Leishman has come through some tough times. His wife nearly died in 2015 from a serious immune system disorder, and then the couple nearly lost a baby.
He told the Herald Sun, “Like all Aussie golfers Greg was a hero of mine so to have earned an achievement in his name makes it that much more special. 2017 has been an incredible year for my family and me with the birth of our daughter and winning the Greg Norman Medal certainly tops it off.”
He will face tough competition at the PGA, where Sergio Garcia is back down under for the first time since 2010. He brought along his Green Jacket from his Masters win in April.
Adam Scott will also be in the field at Royal Pines.