Already a winner in the same team format, Cameron Smith is bursting with pride at making his professional debut for Australia at this week's World Cup of Golf in Melbourne.
Fresh off a third straight top-10 Australian Open finish on Sunday, 25-year-old Smith is preparing to partner Marc Leishman in the World Cup at Metropolitan Golf Club starting Thursday.
"It's so far up there in terms of proud moments in my career that I can't put it into words," Smith said
"It's pretty cool able to do it as a professional; you just don't get that many opportunities to play for Australia."
The US$7 million World Cup is an unofficial PGA Tour event that has two-man teams from 28 nations facing off in foursomes in the first and third rounds and four-ball in the second and fourth rounds.
Smith's only PGA Tour victory to date came in the 2017 Zurich Classic in New Orleans – a teams event that used the same format as the World Cup.
The Brisbane native, who last teed up for Australia as an amateur at the 2012 Eisenhower Trophy, says a team environment helps bring out his best golf.
RIGHT: Smith won the Zurich Classic alongside Jonas Blixt in 2017. PHOTO: Marianna Massey/Getty Images.
"I like playing for someone else and you combine that with the honour of playing for your country and it just gives you something else to think about for a change, other than yourself," Smith said.
With World No.21 Leishman the best-ranked player at Metropolitan and Smith close behind at No.33, team Australia is the betting favourite to claim a sixth World Cup title.
Australian last won the Cup when former World No.1s Jason Day and Adam Scott combined to lift the trophy at Royal Melbourne in 2013.
But Leishman and Smith will face stiff competition from tournament heavyweights England, whose team will feature Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter and rising star Tyrrell Hatton.
American duo Matt Kuchar and Kyle Stanley also loom as a force, as do defending champions Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen for Denmark.
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press