Australia’s Greatest Golfer: Matt Jones v Marc Leishman

Their places in the pages of Australian golf history are secure yet Matt Jones and Marc Leishman both have unfinished business to attend to.

For Jones, a two-time Australian Open champion that put his name amongst the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Greg Norman and Peter Thomson as a multiple Stonehaven Cup winner, it’s a willingness to assert himself more internationally.

For Leishman, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, a breakthrough major championship remains on the bucket list as does a win in one of our most prestigious events on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.

A four-time winner on the secondary Von Nida Tour including the 2008 Victorian PGA Championship, Leishman recorded his best Australian Open finish when he was tied for 10th behind Jones at The Australian in December and was runner-up to good mate Cameron Smith in a Sunday showdown at the 2018 Australian PGA Championship.

But the primary focus for the 36-year-old is going one better than his runner-up finish at the 2015 Open Championship and joining the illustrious list of Australian major champions.

“Obviously I want to play well every week that I play but I’m keeping in mind the fact that I’m not getting any younger and the opportunities to win majors are not going to be around forever,” Leishman said of his major focus.

“I felt like that this year, the British Open, the PGA and the Masters were three really good opportunities to win majors. It’s now the PGA and the Masters.”

His memorable chip-in to defeat Matt Kuchar at the first playoff hole of the 2014 Shell Houston Open remains Jones’ sole PGA TOUR triumph to date but the newly-turned 40-year-old is adamant that there are more wins in store in the future.

“I definitely think it’s within me,” Jones said recently.

“The game is changing, as you can see with what Bryson is doing, it’s heading in a different direction. But I’m still going to have chances to win the golf tournament

“It’s just up to me if I can make the putts when I need to or hit the golf shot when I need to.

“I think I can do that. I still believe, yes, that I have many more years of chances to win golf tournaments.”

They already boast wonderful careers that in the eyes of fans place them among our greatest of all time, but the records of Matt Jones and Marc Leishman are far from complete.

Matt Jones
Career wins: 3
PGA TOUR wins: 1
Australasian Tour wins: 2
Australian Open: Won (2015, 2019)
Australian PGA: T30 (2017)

Marc Leishman
Career wins: 12
PGA TOUR wins: 5
Australasian Tour wins: 4 (Von Nida Tour)
Australian Open: T10 (2019)
Australian PGA: 2nd (2018)

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