He's a proven Open Championship thoroughbred with three top-six finishes in his past five starts, but Marc Leishman admits he needs to change pace to reach the winning post first at Royal Portrush.
A lover of links golf having grown up honing his skills on Melbourne's famous Sandbelt courses, Leishman has emerged as Australia's most consistent contender for the Claret Jug in recent years.
The Victorian's run started in 2014, when he fired the equal-low final round of 65 to share fifth place with countryman Adam Scott at Royal Liverpool.
The following year Leishman carded weekend-best rounds of 64-66, an incredible 14-under-par combined, only to lose a three-man playoff at St Andrews to Zach Johnson.
Leishman also flew home in 2017 from Royal Birkdale with more weekend-low scores of 66-65 to finish joint sixth, but rued a horror second-round 76 that left him behind the eight-ball.
The World No.24 wouldn't have even needed a playoff to win four years ago had he not gifted Johnson a six-stroke start with a labouring 70-73 opening to the championship and Leishman has not surprisingly nominated a fast start as the key to contending in 2019.
"It's just my style. I guess if I was a horse, I'd start from behind and sort of come home hard. But when I get off to a good start, that makes things easier," he told AAP ahead of Thursday's opening round.
"It gives you a different mindset for the rest of the week.
"You're not having to go out and attack too much. You can play a bit smarter and plot your way around a bit more."
RIGHT: Leishman was part of a three-man playoff at St Andrews in 2015. PHOTO: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.
Leishman hopes being in a marquee grouping alongside American superstar Jordan Spieth, who won The Open at Birkdale two years ago, and 2015 Masters champion Danny Willett, will help the trio feed off each other during the first two rounds.
"It would be nice if we could all get it going – Jordan and Danny, both major champions," he said.
"It'll be big crowds. Hopefully we can get some good energy going and make plenty of birdies."
In any case, the four-time PGA Tour winner feels ready to contend once again come Sunday.
"I always come into this tournament pretty fresh for the reason that I tend to play better fresh," Leishman said ahead of his first start since his joint 21st at The Travelers Championship three weeks ago.
"I feel good, I'm playing good, but I'm sure I'm not the only one. There's a lot of guys feeling good.
"Hopefully I'll still be feeling good Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
"I think there's a good chance I can have a good week but I don't really have any expectations, to be honest. I want to try and put that aside."
- Darren Walton, Australian Associated Press