Marc Leishman believes the calibre of this week's World Golf Championships event in Mexico has not been diluted by an absence of several big guns.
Top 10 golfers Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama and Rory McIlroy – as well as World No.13 Henrik Stenson – will not line up at the year's first WGC.
Day opted to be with mother Dening as she undergoes scans related to her battle with lung cancer in the US, while injuries prevented Matsuyama (thumb) and Koepka (wrist) from playing.
Four-time major winner McIlroy cited scheduling issues for his no show.
But Leishman is aware he still faces 45 of the world's top 50 golfers in an elite 65-man field.
"Those guys have got their reasons for not coming, but it doesn't change the way I approach the event; it's a WGC and there are a lot of quality players you have to beat," Leishman said.
The 34-year-old Leishman enjoyed two high-profile victories on the PGA Tour last year – at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the BMW Championship during the FedEx Cup playoffs.
But he's eager to join Craig Parry, Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott and Day as the only Australians to win a WGC title since the series was created in 1999.
"I'd absolutely love to have World Golf Championship win on the resume; they're the most respected events outside the majors and the Players (Championship) and would be a logical step up for me," Leishman said.
Joining Leishman in Mexico are countrymen Brett Rumford and Adam Bland, who qualified as the top two players from the 2017 Australasian Tour's money list, and Wade Ormsby.
South Australian Ormsby won a maiden European Tour title in Hong Kong last year and was eligible for a WGC debut by being in the top 10 on Europe's Race to Dubai series.
Club de Golf Chapultepec presents an unusual test for the no-cut WGC field, with the course perched 7,500 feet (2,250 metres) above sea level.
Last year, players estimated their shots travelled 20 percent farther due to the decreased air density.
"The only time I've played at altitude was when I won the (2015) Nedbank Challenge in South Africa where my pitching wedge was carrying almost 20 metres extra," Leishman said of Sun City's elevation of 348 metres.
World No.1 and defending champion Dustin Johnson, as well as last week's Honda Classic winner Justin Thomas, headline six of the world's top 10 teeing up in Mexico.
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press