Aussie pair’s song choice no surprise at Zurich Classic

You may not know it – you may never have even heard of it – but the song chosen by Aussie pair Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith for the Zurich Classic starting Friday morning AEST is oh so appropriate.

Leishman and Smith – World Cup partners, great mates and Presidents Cup teammates – are one of two all-Aussie pairings at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, a PGA TOUR event where two-man teams play rounds of fourball and foursomes on alternate days.

Veterans Cameron Percy and Greg Chalmers have teamed up together, Honda Classic champion Matt Jones will play alongside American JJ Spaun, Aaron Baddeley is partnering Canadian Roger Sloan, Rhein Gibson has paired with England’s Ben Taylor while Kiwis Danny Lee and Tim Wilkinson will be partnered by Sangmoon Bae and George McNeill respectively.

Given their history – and Smith’s victory in the 2017 event alongside Swede Jonas Blixt – the most prominent Aussie pairing are considered one of the tournament favourites but Leishman’s song selection and Smith’s inspiration may turn even more heads.

“It’s actually funny,” Smith explained, whose back-to-back Masters top-10s are the only thing currently overshadowing his flowing mullet hairstyle.

“Leish found this song or looked up a song and he’s already entered it; I didn’t even get a choice.

“It’s called ‘The Mullet Song’. We’re going to be rocking that going to the first tee. And maybe a few other surprises.”

Think a mix between Kid Rock and Billy Ray Cyrus and you’re close to Jay Powell’s homage to the resurgent follicle fashion statement that has been viewed more than 100,000 times on YouTube since its release in August last year.

It doesn’t quite have the upbeat tempo that Percy has selected for he and Chalmers, ‘Right Here, Right Now’ by Fatboy Slim – “Get us focused,” Percy explained – but Leishman hopes his choice will set a fun tone that he and Smith can carry all the way through to late Sunday.

“It’s pretty funny and very true, particularly in Cam’s case,” Leishman added.

“The walk-up music is something different; I think it’s fun. You got to try and make it fun and embrace it and I think we’ll do that. Try and enjoy ourselves, get the day started off on the right foot and go from there.”

Although Ernie Els chose not to pair Smith and Leishman together at the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, Smith believes that their bond – and that of their respective caddies Sam Pinfold and Matty Kelly – is a definitive advantage when it comes to foursomes.

“I think the banter makes us a good team,” said Smith.

“If one of us hits a bit of a crappy shot or doesn’t get off to a good start or something like that, we’re always in each other’s ear just playing around and maybe saying some stuff that gets us fired up and ready to go.”

Strategically speaking, an investigation of the numbers convinced Leishman that he would be best served teeing off on the odd-numbered holes in foursomes and Smith on the even-numbered holes.

And if the Aussies are successful at the end of 72 holes, The Mullet Song may earn a reprise in a presentation ceremony with a difference.

“I told the missus that I would cut it if I won, but I don’t know, everyone loves it,” said Smith, currently Australia’s highest-ranked male player at No.25 in the world.

“I’ve got a lot of attention, I guess, a lot of support out on the golf course with it, so I don’t know, might hang around for longer than I anticipated.

“I think it’s a good thing, just something different. Everyone has a laugh. I know ‘Leish’ has a laugh at it and he picks on me sometimes about it, but no, it’s good. I love it.”

Minjee Lee’s two-year wait to defend her Hugel-Air Premia LA Open title is already underway with Lee posting an opening round of 1-under 70 at Wilshire Country Club.

Su Oh is positioned to push for her best LPGA Tour finish courtesy of an opening round of 5-under 66, two better than the next best Aussie through 18 holes, West Australian Hannah Green who is tied for 17th.

Round 1 tee times AEST

Zurich Classic
TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana
10.13pm*            Danny Lee/Sangmoon Bae, DJ Trahan/Ricky Barnes
11.44pm              Tim Wilkinson/George McNeill, Sepp Straka/Josh Teater
3.05am Cameron Percy/Greg Chalmers, Rob Oppenheim/Grayson Murray
3.44am Marc Leishman/Cameron Smith, Collin Morikawa/Matthew Wolff
4.23am Matt Jones/JJ Spaun, Max Homa/Talor Gooch
4.36am*              Aaron Baddeley/Roger Sloan, Rasmus Hojgaard/Vaughn Taylor
5.02am*              Rhein Gibson/Ben Taylor, Rafael Campos/Mark Anderson

Defending champions: Ryan Palmer/Jon Rahm (2019)
Past Aussie winners: Cameron Smith (with Jonas Blixt, 2017)
Top Aussie prediction: Cameron Smith/Marc Leishman
TV schedule: Live 5.30am-8.30am Friday, Saturday; Live 3am-8am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503.

European Tour
Gran Canaria Lopesan Open
Meloneras Golf, Gran Canaria, Spain
12.30am*            Jake McLeod, Eduardo De la Riva, Matthew Jordan
12.40am*            Austin Bautista, Ross Fisher, Scott Jamieson
5.40am*              Maverick Antcliff, Berry Henson, Cormac Sharvin

Defending champion: Inaugural event
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Top Aussie prediction: Maverick Antcliff
TV schedule: Live 11pm-4am Thursday, Friday; Live 11pm-3am Saturday; Live 10pm-2.30am Sunday on Fox Sports 503.

Hugel-Air Premia LA Open
Wilshire Country Club, Los Angeles, California
Through Round 1
T4           Su Oh     66
T17        Hannah Green    68
T31        Sarah Kemp         69
T43        Gabriela Ruffels 70
T43        Minjee Lee          70
T57        Sarah Jane Smith              71
T105      Katherine Kirk     74
T134      Lydia Ko               78

Defending champion: Minjee Lee (2019)
Past Aussie winners: Minjee Lee (2019)
Top Aussie prediction: Hannah Green
TV schedule: Live 8.30am-11am Friday, Saturday; Live 8am-11am Sunday on Fox Sports 511.

Korn Ferry Tour
Veritex Bank Championship
Texas Rangers Golf Club, Arlington, Texas
11.15pm*            Brett Drewitt, Evan Harmeling, David Kocher
11.55pm*            Harrison Endycott, Kevin Roy, Chandler Blanchet
3.35am Jamie Arnold, Andres Gonzales, Tyson Alexander
4.15am John Senden, Whee Kim, TJ Vogel
4.35am*              Nick Voke, John VanDerLaan, Brent Grant
4.55am Ryan Ruffels, Max Greyserman, Shane Smith

Defending champion: Inaugural event
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Top Aussie prediction: Harrison Endycott

Challenge Tour
Limpopo Championship
Euphoria GC, Modimolle, South Africa
11.20pm*            Deyen Lawson, Toto Thimba Jnr, Keith Horne

Defending champion: JC Ritchie
Past Aussie winners: Nil

Symetra Tour
Copper Rock Championship
Copper Rock Golf Course, Hurricane, Utah
2.15am Julienne Soo, Ingrid Gutierrez Nunez, Alivia Reynolds
5.11am Stephanie Na, Julie Aime, Madison Pressel
6.39am Robyn Choi, Dottie Ardina, Amanda Doherty

Defending champion: Inaugural event
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Top Aussie prediction: Robyn Choi

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