Sunday, 25 November 2018
Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith  (Getty Images)
Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith (Getty Images)

Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith were proud of their fighting spirit as they finished runners-up on home soil at the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf.

The Australian duo shared the first-round lead after an opening 62 in the fourballs but had given six shots back after 13 holes on Friday, as high winds and heavy rain made conditions difficult in the foursomes.

They battled their way to a 76 and a 65 in round three provided the springboard for a Sunday charge.

When Smith holed a brilliant bunker shot for a birdie on the 14th, they were just two back and with the support of a vociferous local crowd at The Metropolitan Golf Club, they had the momentum.

Leishman missed a good birdie chance on the 16th, however, and Belgium held their nerve to eventually claim the title by three shots.

"I think we played pretty good golf," said Leishman. "We fought it out on Friday to come back from six over. To fight back like that and keep ourselves in it and to have a good day yesterday in the fourball, and then it was pretty important for us to get off to a good start today and we did that.

"Belgium were clearly the best team all week. When you come up against someone like that, we did what we had to do today to put the pressure on and they were just too good. When you get beat by someone who's playing that well, there's not much you can do.

"And those crowds out there, I've never played with crowds like that in Australia. That was really cool to be part of that. Having 98 per cent of the crowd going for you is a pretty cool feeling."

Smith added: "The position we were in heading into the back nine on Friday, we were seven or eight back at one stage.

"We've just played really solid golf the last four or five holes from Friday onwards. I don't think we could have really asked for too much more. It was pretty solid."

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