Marc Leishman says taking on Tiger Woods head-to-head in a Presidents Cup final-day singles match at Royal Melbourne holds no fears for him.
Leishman or fellow Australian Cameron Smith are tipped to be handed the high-profile assignment against the United States’ playing-captain Woods by International team skipper Ernie Els.
In Melbourne before the biennial showdown at Royal Melbourne starting on December 12, World No.27 Leishman said he wouldn't be intimidated by facing Woods – despite the 15-time major winner's legendary status and the world attention he attracts.
"I've played a lot of golf with Tiger and I'm pretty comfortable but if the other boys want to take him on I will gladly let them do that," Leishman said on Monday.
Leishman tipped World No.52 Smith to have a big impact on the world-famed sandbelt course.
"It does set up really well for him as he's got one of the best wedge games I've ever seen, so I think he will do really well at Royal Melbourne," Leishman said.
"He's got the confidence to go along with it and with golf, you need a lot of confidence."
Leishman also joined fellow Australian Adam Scott in pleading for the crowd to get behind the International team, rather than cheering for the star-studded US line up and in particular Woods, who is likely playing for the last time in Australia.
"It's a great opportunity to see the world's best players but also a great opportunity to give the International team a real home ground advantage and we really need that," Leishman said.
"It's up to us International players to do some good stuff, make some good putts and birdies to get the crowd into it early.
"The crowd can be like an extra player on our team which we really need."
RIGHT: Leishman and Woods played together during the opening two rounds of the Masters last year. PHOTO: Patrick Smith/Getty Images.
Leishman backed Jason Day's replacement Byeong-Hun An to perform well for the Internationals after the former World No.1 withdrew at the weekend due to a back injury.
It's a blow for the Internationals, who have only won once against the US since the Presidents Cup began in 1994.
But Leishman said World No.43 An had been hungrily waiting for a chance to play in the biennial showpiece.
South Korean An had three top-10 and eight top-25 finishes in the 2018/19 PGA Tour season.
"I know Jason is disappointed but Ben An is a great replacement," Leishman said, before heading to the course for a practice round.
"I know he (Byeong-Hun An) really wanted to be on the team, he's missed out the last two Presidents Cups so I know he's really excited.
"He's a great player and anyone on the team would be happy to be paired with him any day."
- Melissa Woods, Australian Associated Press