GOLF: Leish­man in box seat to win ti­tle

NT News - - MAD MONDAY -

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.

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