Leish­man moves five clear

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

CHICAGO: Marc Leish­man fired five birdies in a three-un­der par 68 on Sat­ur­day to stretch his lead to five strokes over fel­low Aussie Ja­son Day and Rickie Fowler in the BMW Cham­pi­onship.

Leish­man started the day with a three­shot lead. His solid per­for­mance at Con­way Farms put him on 19-un­der 194 go­ing into the fi­nal round of the penul­ti­mate tour­na­ment in the US PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup play­off se­ries.

Day and Fowler both carded one-un­der par 70s for 199.

Eng­land’s Justin Rose signed for a 66 that put him in solo fourth on 201.

Spain’s Jon Rahm carded a 65 to head a group of seven play­ers on 202.

Leish­man capped his round with a birdie at the par-five 18th to put him­self in prime po­si­tion to seize a third US PGA Tour ti­tle on Sun­day.

The most re­cent of those came at the Arnold Palmer In­vi­ta­tional this year. But he came up short at TPC Bos­ton two weeks ago — when he went into the fi­nal round shar­ing the lead with Justin Thomas and Jor­dan Spi­eth.

Af­ter two birdies and two bo­geys in his first seven holes, Leish­man birdied the eighth to make the turn at one-un­der for the day, and picked up two more birdies com­ing in.

Fowler opened with a 24-foot ea­gle, but had just one birdie and two bo­geys the rest of the way. Day had two birdies on the front nine but one bo­gey with no birdies com­ing in.

Yes­ter­day’s drama was set to in­clude not only Leish­man’s bid for the ti­tle, but also the race for the top 30 places in the FedEx Cup play-off stand­ings.

Only the top 30 ad­vance to the Tour Cham­pi­onship in At­lanta, where a US$10 mil­lion FedEx Cup play-off bonus will be up for grabs.

Five-time ma­jor win­ner Phil Mick­el­son and Mas­ters cham­pion Ser­gio Gar­cia, who both came into the tour­na­ment in the 30s in the stand­ings, were in a group tied for 15th, 10 shots off the lead and fight­ing to make it into the Tour Cham­pi­onship field.

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