Leishman still in driver’s seat at BMW Championship
LAKE FOREST, ILL. Marc Leishman has a short memory when it comes to golf, which only helped him at the BMW Championship.
He forgot all about that 62 in the opening round.
He was nearly just as good Friday with a 7-under 64 to open a three-shot lead over Jason Day and Rickie Fowler going into the weekend at Conway Farms.
“I really took that as a challenge today, to not take it for granted that you’re just going to make birdies,” Leishman said. “You still have to earn every birdie. I think when you do get ahead of yourself, that’s when bad stuff can happen.”
There was plenty of good stuff from the guys chasing him in the third FedEx Cup playoff event.
Day, who has gone 16 months since his last victory, chipped in from behind the 14th green for his second eagle of the week and then added a third eagle with one swing. He made a hole-in-one on the 17th hole with a seven-iron that turned into a payoff for multiple parties.
It carried Day to a 65, putting him in the last group on the weekend with Leishman. BMW awarded $100,000 to the Evans Scholars Foundation and then Day decided to give the car he won to the Evans Scholars, which will yield another full, four-year scholarship for another student.
Fowler also chipped in for eagle on the reachable par-four 15th hole on his way to a 64.
“The ultimate goal is to win this week,” Day said. “That’s the thing I’ve been trying to do this whole season — at least win once and try to build on that.”
Leishman was at 16-under 126, two short of the 36-hole record Day set at Conway Farms two years ago on his way to a wire-to-wire, six-shot victory. It hasn’t been easy for everyone, particularly defending champion Dustin Johnson. The world’s No. 1 player can’t seem to buy a putt and even when he started to make a little progress, he finished bogey-bogey by taking two chips to get on the 17th green and hitting into the water on the 18th.
Jordan Spieth, No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings after successive runner-up finishes in the playoff events, managed only a 70 and joined Mickelson in the group at 135. Mackenzie Hughes of Hamilton is tied for 12th at 7 under. Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., is even for the event.