A trimmed-down Marc Leishman will carry a major-like focus into this week's Australian Open as he bids once more to shed his tag as the country's best golfer yet to win on home soil.
Leishman on Tuesday revealed he'd dropped eight kilograms since August after being mistaken for a rather rotund Open Championship winner Shane Lowry.
"It was a conscious thing that I did and I'm glad I did it," he said ahead of the Australian Open's first round at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney.
"It's not a whole lot of weight but if you put eight kilos in a suitcase and carry that around all the time, it makes a difference.
"It took a little bit of time for my body to adjust golf-wise but I feel better for it now.
"I just tried to cut out sugar and bread, really. That's about it. I've cut down a little bit on the beer. That's going to be easier said than done while I'm home in Australia."
It will likely be even more difficult in a fortnight when the 2015 Open Championship runner-up releases a mid-strength version of his Leishman Lager that's he been producing in the US for the past three years.
Leishman, though, is intent on keeping the weight off after carrying extra around the midriff led to back issues that disrupted what had been a hot start to 2019 with four top-10 finishes in his first five events.
"I just tried to cut out sugar and bread, really. That's about it. I've cut down a little bit on the beer. That's going to be easier said than done while I'm home in Australia." – Marc Leishman
Playing the Aussie Open for the first time in four years, Leishman is desperate to not only contend for the Stonehaven Cup but also help the International team break its 21-year Presidents Cup drought next week against the US at Royal Melbourne.
"You don't want to put any event on a pedestal but it's hard not to put these big Australian events on a pedestal like majors," he said.
"(They are) two tournaments that I really want to win. Every Australian golfer wants to win the national open and then I've been on three losing Presidents Cup teams and I don't really want it to be four."
One of the favourites in a strong field, Leishman conceded he may have wanted it too much in the past.
On other occasions the laid-back Victorian was too blasé.
"I've had chances the last two years to win tournaments in Australia," he said.
"Before 2015, I think I was either going too hard or relaxing too much. I didn't have that balance."
- Darren Walton, Australian Associated Press