Leishman opens with a 62 to lead

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

LAKE FOR­EST, Ill. (AP) — Marc Leishman left his golf clubs in his garage dur­ing his week break from the FedEx Cup play­off and it didn’t change any­thing. He made 10 birdies in the opening round of the BMW Cham­pi­onship for a 9-un­der 62 to build a two-shot lead.

Ja­son Day made the big­gest change of his ca­reer and had a 64, his best start in 16 months.

The race to the FedEx Cup fi­nale got off to a blis­ter­ing start Thurs­day at Con­way Farms, and no one could top Leishman. The Aus­tralian fin­ished third at the TPC Bos­ton two weeks ago, did noth­ing last week ex­cept prac­tice putting in the room above his garage, and then ran off seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch in the mid­dle of his round and matched his best score on the PGA Tour.

“When you play golf and all you’re think­ing about his mak­ing birdies, it’s a lot eas­ier than try­ing to not make bo­geys,” Leishman said.

Day made five birdies on the back nine to atone for a slug­gish start in a tour­na­ment where his ex­pec­ta­tions were up in the air. He de­cided last week that Colin Swat­ton, the most mean­ing­ful fig­ure in his golf ca­reer, would no longer cad­die for at least the rest of the year. Day in­stead used an old room­mate from his school days in Aus­tralia, Luke Rear­don. If that wasn’t enough, he also changed put­ters.

That might not have been nearly as sig­nif­i­cant as the good vibes from a six-shot vic­tory at Con­way Farms two years ago. What­ever the case, he had no com­plaints about his low­est score since a 63 in the AT&T By­ron Nel­son in May, and his best opening round since a 63 at The Play­ers Cham­pi­onship a year ago, which was the last tour­na­ment he won.

“A good step in the right di­rec­tion, es­pe­cially with hav­ing Luke on the bag,” Day said. “Ob­vi­ously, not hav­ing Colin on the bag is some­thing dif­fer­ent and I just didn’t know how I was go­ing to play. I think Luke did a fan­tas­tic job out there. We worked well to­gether and hope we can keep that go­ing.”

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