Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman continue love affair with TPC Louisiana

The Australians can’t wait to get the defence of their title underway.

Cameron Smith sort of likes the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

In 2017, its first year as a pairs event, he triumphed alongside Sweden's Jonas Blixt and four years later he completed a second victory with his close friend and fellow Aussie Marc Leishman.

As they seek to successfully defend the trophy this week at TPC Louisiana, Smith reflected on the conditions which aided their win.

"It's nice to be back," he said. "I think Leish and I fell in love with this place a little bit last year, the way it played, firm and fast and a bit of wind.

"Looks like more of the same this week. So looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow and trying to win this thing again."

Leishman went further in noting the neat match up between examination and examinees.

"I think we're definitely comfortable on this course when it's firm and it looks like that way again this year," he said.

"To be honest, it's not that comfortable of a course for me when it's soft so I was happy to see the forecast.

"Just the grasses remind me a lot of home, and you have to be able to control your ball on the ground as well as in the air with it being firm and windy. Pretty much everything about it reminds me of golf in Australia and the greens are perfect."

As if that were not enough, the pair also like the off-the-course test too.

"It's a cool city," Leishman said. "We're eating good food and having a couple of beers."

Smith on getting over his Masters disappointment

"It's been good, mate. I've done everything I could reflecting on it. I wouldn't have changed anything, just a bad swing at the wrong time. That's just how golf is sometimes. It can be pretty penal, especially coming down the stretch of a Major Championship. It was a tough pill to swallow, but I think I've learned from it, and I'm ready for the next one."

Leishman on why they combine so well

"I think being such good friends helps. We don't put pressure on each other to hit good shots. Obviously, we want to hit good shots, but I think the pressure thing is big. If we hit a bad shot, obviously we're still frustrated, but we get on with it and just concentrate on the next shot. I think it's easier to do that when you're mates."

Leishman on this week's vibe

"Both of our dads are here this week and we've got friends here as well. When you're defending, it's a bit more of a special week with the people coming in. My dad's never been here when I've won an event. So that would be pretty cool if we could do that. But it's Wednesday, can't be thinking about that."

Smith on his mullet

"I think there's a few kids in Australia who have adapted the mullet a little bit. I'm not sure how their parents feel about it. My coach says kids that he's coaching now are growing mullets. It's pretty cool."

Leishman on the mullet wig he wore last year

"I still have it. It's not here with me. I thought that would be a one-and-done thing. It's like telling a good joke. You don't want to tell it too many times."

On this week's International team's Presidents Cup get-together

Smith: "It was more about team building and bringing everyone a little bit closer together. We didn't really talk about any tactics or pairings or anything like that. It was just a casual beer and dinner with a few mates. It was great, a really good night."

Leishman: "I think the team bonding is the most important thing for us. Coming from all different backgrounds, we've got South America, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Asia. I mean, there's everywhere. The cultures are so different. So getting to know one another is probably even more important than what the pairings will be."

READ MORE: Hojgaard twins looking for another win as the DP World Tour returns to Europe

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