Aussie Marc Leishman hopes history repeats in chase for Presidents Cup glory

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MARC Leishman rode four hours in a bus all the way from Warrnambool in 1998 to stand in the rain at Royal Melbourne and watch the Presidents Cup.

And the world number 16 was a witness to history, as an International team featuring the likes of Greg Norman toppled the Americans for the first time on a stunning, if rain-soaked Sunday.

The win remains the only victory for the International team through 12 editions of the Presidents Cup and Leishman has now evolved from spectator to key player himself.

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Marc Leishman is part of the International team at the Presidents Cup and is hoping to break through for just its second win in the tournament’s history. Picture: Getty Images

Marc Leishman is part of the International team at the Presidents Cup and is hoping to break through for just its second win in the tournament’s history. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

The Aussie, who has won twice this year in his best season on the US PGA Tour, is playing in his third Presidents Cup which gets underway at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey on Friday morning.

He’s part of a 12-man International team trying to take down the all-powerful Americans who have the world number one (Dustin Johnson), two (Jordan Spieth) and four (Justin Thomas) in their line-up, plus another four players ranked inside the top 20.

While Leishman and his teammates may be up against it, with just three-top 20 players including himself and fellow Aussie Jason Day, having seen that victory nearly 20 years ago, the Victorian is not counting out another surprise win this year.

A Shark and a Tiger meet on the golf course during the Internationals 1998 Presidents Cup victory. Picture: AP

A Shark and a Tiger meet on the golf course during the Internationals 1998 Presidents Cup victory. Picture: APSource:AP

Greg Norman gave his shirt away to a fan the Internationals won.

Greg Norman gave his shirt away to a fan the Internationals won.Source:News Corp Australia

“In ‘98, I went there on the Sunday and it rained all day. The Internationals won that one, actually. It was an exciting finish,” Leishman said.

“I just remember being very wet and being very late back to the bus. We had about a four-hour drive home and there was no way I was missing the end of it.

“I was like, the bus leaves, guess I’m not going to be on it.

“Yeah, that was pretty awesome to be there for that.

“It’s my third Presidents Cup now, obviously playing on two losing teams, which is disappointing.

“But yeah, looking to change that this week, and have a big week.”

The winning Internaitonals celebrate in 1998. Picture: Darren Tindale

The winning Internaitonals celebrate in 1998. Picture: Darren TindaleSource:News Corp Australia

Leishman proved his mettle in 2015 in Korea, taking down Jordan Spieth in the Sunday singles matches, clinching victory with a putt on the 18th hole to win 1-up.

It’s a memory he’ll take in to competition this week, also armed with arguably the best form of his career, coming off a massive win in the BMW Championship just two weeks ago and has risen to a career-high world ranking.

“I remember all the boys standing over there on the edge of the green. That was a pretty good feeling. The Cup was on the line. That was a big high. Certainly one I’ll never forget,” he said.

Stuart Appleby hams it up with the Presidents Cup.

Stuart Appleby hams it up with the Presidents Cup.Source:News Limited

Doesn’t look like the possums were being quiet enough in ‘98.

Doesn’t look like the possums were being quiet enough in ‘98.Source:News Limited

“You know, (it’s) been a busy month or so. But you know, having said that … there’s a lot of good play in there. That’s a good thing. Obviously coming in with some form. But the more you’re in contention, the more energy it takes.

“This is that type of event where it’s very easy to get up for it. There’s obviously a lot to play for. The crowd buzz, just everything about it, makes it an exciting week and certainly not going to struggle with energy.”

The Presidents Cup gets underway Friday morning Australian time with five foursomes matches.

Leishman signs autographs for fans at Liberty National. Picture: Getty Images

Leishman signs autographs for fans at Liberty National. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

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