Australia’s top golfer of 2017, Marc Leishman, has been locked in for the Australian PGA on the Gold Coast.
Australia’s top golfer of 2017, Marc Leishman, has been locked in for the Australian PGA on the Gold Coast.

Leishman helps beef up Gold Coast field

MARC Leishman's hot favouritism to win the Greg Norman Medal has helped hook Australia's top golfer of 2017 as a headliner for the Australian PGA on the Gold Coast.

The world No.13 is expected to be confirmed on Thursday for a beefed-up tournament duel also featuring Masters champion Sergio Garcia, 2013 green-jacket king Adam Scott and rising talent Cameron Smith at Royal Pines from November 30-December 3.

Leishman, 34, covets winning one of Australia's big tournaments and has been a well-appreciated supporter of the PGA with his 2013 (11th), 2014 (11th) and 2016 (21st) visits since Royal Pines began hosting the event.

His form for this latest quest has never been stronger with two wins on the PGA Tour this year, a Presidents Cup spot and a career-high world ranking.

Winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational and BMW Championship plus his closing 65 to be top Aussie at the British Open at Royal Birkdale are irresistible reasons why he should win Australian golf's top individual gong.

The Greg Norman Medal will be presented on the Tuesday night of tournament week at RACV Royal Pines and being there to receive the award in person would be a highlight for Leishman and his family.

The medal has been won by Jason Day in each of the past two years.

Only first-time winner Smith is a real challenger for Leishman although no official short list has yet been drawn up.

Having Scott, Smith, Leishman and Scott Hend to challenge Garcia and American defending champion Harold Varner III throws up an exciting script for a tournament that is doing brisk business for hospitality packages.

Entries have opened to align with a pro on the Sunday for the Soniq Million Dollar Hole.

If a fan's player makes a hole-in-one, the split of the million dollar prize goes half to the pro and half to a delirious person in the gallery with $500,000 worth of cash and prizes.

Former champion Geoff Ogilvy has joined a strong list of past winners who have committed to the Emirates Australian Open at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney from November 23.

Ogilvy, 40, has committed to another crack at the Stonehaven Cup along with Steve Allan, Robert Allenby, Craig Parry, Greg Chalmers, Matt Jones and Peter Lonard.

"I'm always excited to come home and play for the Stonehaven Cup," Ogilvy said of a field led by two-time champion Jordan Spieth and Jason Day.

"It's something that's special for all of us and it's not surprising that its winners have followed up with great achievements around the world."

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