Leishman keen for PGA success at Riviera

Marc Leishman says he's ready to settle the score with Riviera Country Club and finally join the list of Australian winners at the iconic Los Angeles course.

Marc Leishman (file) says he's ready to join the list of Australian winners at the LA Open.

Marc Leishman (file) says he's ready to join the list of Australian winners at the LA Open.

The three-time US PGA Tour winner has been coming to the LA Open for eight years but has only finished in the top five once.

"I don't know why; it's a mystery," Leishman said.

"It's one of the courses on tour I really feel I can win on; there are a lot of holes you need to hit a fade, which suits my game, and it's a ball-striker's course.

"It feels like an Australian course with the (eucalyptus) trees and the grasses being similar to what I grew up playing."

Leishman has also watched several countrymen claim victories at Riviera.

Aaron Baddeley, Adam Scott and Robert Allenby have hoisted the LA Open trophy, while Steve Elkington won the US PGA Championship when it was held there in 1995.

But coming off a breakout 2017 season featuring two US Tour wins, and already owning a runner up and another top 10 in his 2018 campaign, 34-year-old Leishman feels he can now follow in their footsteps.

"Last year, I felt I overcame some courses and events that used to bug me," Leishman said.

"My mental game is a lot better than it used to be. I've got more of a variety of shots and I'm driving it better.

"I feel my game is good enough to contend on any course and Riviera should be no different."

Fellow Australian Cameron Smith is also looking to improve his LA Open record.

In two previous starts at the LA Open, he's yet to finish in the top 25 but has added motivation this year, with a start in next week's World Golf Championships in Mexico event on the line.

World No.58 Smith will likely need a top-five result to sneak inside the top 50 rankings who qualify for the no-cut WGC event in Mexico City.

There, an elite field offers a world rankings goldmine which will aid Smith's quest to remain inside the top 50 until March 26 and secure a second Masters invitation to Augusta.

Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers and Geoff Ogilvy round out the Australian contingent at Riviera.

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