GOLF: Leishman in box seat to win title
BMW Championship leader Marc Leishman vowed to atone for his recent crushing defeat in Boston as he chases his first wire-to-wire victory on the US PGA Tour.
The 33-year-old Leishman (pictured) headlined an Australian assault on the leaderboard overnight, with countrymen Jason Day and Cameron Smith in the mix at the penultimate FedEx Cup play-offs event in Chicago.
Fresh off losing a twostroke lead going into the back nine on Sunday at TPC Boston two weeks ago, Leishman has steamrolled through a starstudded 70-man field and held a five-shot 54-hole lead at Conway Farms.
The Victorian backed up two stellar opening rounds with a three-under-par 68 yesterday to climb to 19-underpar, with world No.9 Day and Rickie Fowler each carding a 70 to share second at 14-under.
England’s Justin Rose fired a 66 to take outright fourth at 12under.
Leishman said dropping five shots on the back nine at TPC Boston, handing American world No.4 Justin Thomas his fifth Tour win of the season, was a bitter pill to swallow.
“I usually say to my wife, if I have a bad round, give me 10 minutes and I’ll be OK. (Boston) took a day. It stung a bit,” said Leishman. “Even though I had Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas on my tail, when you’re leading it’s hard to get overtaken on the back-nine. I’ll be doing my very best not to let it happen again.”
Chasing his second PGA Tour victory this year, history suggested Leishman can get the job done.
Of the 13 times a player has held a 54-hole lead of five shots or more during the past five years, 11 have gone on to win.
Leishman has never led the first three rounds of a PGA Tour event.