In a year where he won twice on the PGA Tour and welcomed a baby daughter in to the world, Marc Leishman has “shown true determination under pressure”, according to the man who has just bestowed on him his latest honour.
The World Number 13 picked up Australian golf’s most prestigious individual honour; the Greg Norman Medal, at a ceremony on the Gold Coast on Tuesday night.
“Like all Aussie golfers Greg was a hero of mine so to have earned an achievement in his name makes it that much more special,” Leishman said.
“2017 has been an incredible year for my family and me with the birth of our daughter and winning the Greg Norman Medal certainly tops it off.
“Lifting the Joe Kirkwood Cup on Sunday as the Australian PGA Champion would take it to a new level.”
In 2017, Leishman won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the BMW Championship, and also recorded a further four top-10 results to reach his highest ever ranking of World Number 13.
Norman couldn’t be on the Gold Coast for the Awards Ceremony but sent Leishman a video message, saying his medal was “about more than just performance”.
“It is also about recognising an individual who had proudly represented Australia, who has shown true Aussie spirit, who has been determined and dedicated to their craft. Tonight’s recipient personifies all these traits,” Norman said.
“Not only has he won twice on the PGA TOUR, represented his country on the International Team at the President’s Cup and climbed the world rankings, he has also been a dedicated family man. Has shown true determination under pressure and above all else grace when things haven’t gone his way.”
The other highlight of the evening was PGA Life Members Alex Mercer and Charlie Earp being elevated to Immortal status.
Having completed his PGA Traineeship at Coolangatta Tweed Heads Golf Club and joining the Association in 1945, Earp has more than 59 years of experience within the golf industry where he has made his mark not only as a player but also as a coach.
Earp has nurtured many of the greatest Australian golfing talents the world has seen. Having coached Norman, Wayne Grady, Karrie Webb and Adam Scott.
While Mercer completed his PGA Traineeship under Eric Cremin at Roseville Golf Club before going onto to forge a successful career coaching some of Australia and New Zealand’s greatest players, including three Major champions; David Graham, Steve Elkington and Michael Campbell as well as counting Peter O’Malley, Brendan Joneas and Jan Stevenson amongst his pupils.
At 83 years of age, Mercer’s joy for the game has not dulled, he continues to work actively as a coach casting a watchful eye over his clients’ games and providing his understanding of the swing to the next generation of golfers.