Leish­man still in driver’s seat at BMW Cham­pi­onship

Vancouver Sun - - SPORTS - DOUG FER­GU­SON

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 is even for the event.

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