Leish­man builds lead to 5 shots

Orlando Sentinel - - BASEBALL / GOLF / FOR THE RECORD -

LAKE FOR­EST, Ill. — Marc Leish­man got upand-down from a tough lie be­hind the 18th green for one last birdie Satur­day that gave him a 3-un­der 68 and ex­tended his lead to five shots over Ja­son Day and Rickie Fowler go­ing into the fi­nal round of the BMW Cham­pi­onship.

Leish­man gets an­other chance to­day to win a FedExCup play­off event and grab one of the top five seeds at the Tour Cham­pi­onship next week. The top seeds have the clear­est path to claim the $10 mil­lion bonus.

And this op­por­tu­nity is much bet­ter than two weeks ago.

Leish­man shared the 54-hole lead at the TPC Bos­ton with Justin Thomas, who surged past Leish­man and held off Jor­dan Spi­eth. This time, no one could make a run at him Satur­day on a warm day with a steady wind at Con­way Farms.

Fowler rolled in a 25-foot ea­gle putt from just short of the green on the open­ing hole, and made only one birdie the rest of the way. He missed putts from the 6-foot range on con­sec­u­tive holes on the back nine, one of them for birdie, and couldn't make birdie with an iron in his hand for his se­cond shot on the par-5 18th.

Day pulled within two shots with a birdie at the turn but played the back nine with eight pars and a bo­gey. He also had an iron for his se­cond shot on the 18th, but it plugged into the side of the bunker.

Fowler and Day shot 70.

Leish­man was at 19-un­der 194 af­ter the kind of round that lim­ited the pos­si­bil­i­ties for the fi­nal day. No one else was closer than seven shots of the af­fa­ble Aus­tralian. Justin each Rose had a 66 and was at 12-un­der 201 while Jon Rahm had a 65 and was in a large group at 11-un­der 202, eight shots out of the lead.

The ex­cite­ment fig­ured to come from the race to East Lake.

The top 30 in the FedExCup ad­vance to next week's Tour Cham­pi­onship, where all have a math­e­mat­i­cal chance at the $10 mil­lion bonus and are as­sured spots in ev­ery ma­jor ex­cept the PGA Cham­pi­onship next year.

Phil Mick­el­son, fi­nally find­ing his form late in the year, has a chance to make it to the Tour Cham­pi­onship. He had a 69 — his sev­enth straight round in the 60s — but failed to take ad­van­tage of the eas­i­est par-4 at Con­way Farms — the reach­able 15th — and took bo­gey on both par-3s.

“I'm play­ing well enough to get in con­tention and win again,” said Mick­el­son, whose last tro­phy came from the Bri­tish Open in 2013. “And I want to get in that field be­cause I think if I do, I think I'll have a re­ally good shot at it.”

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — Moriya Ju­tanu­garn of Thai­land shot 3-un­der 68 to lead the Evian Cham­pi­onship se­cond round on Satur­day and could join her younger sis­ter Ariya in golf's record book. Seek­ing to be the first sis­ters to each win a ma­jor ti­tle, Moriya's 9-un­der to­tal left her one shot ahead of Ayako Ue­hara of Ja­pan, who had seven birdies in her round of 66. The lead­ing group for Sun­day is com­pleted by Kather­ine Kirk of Aus­tralia, who carded a 69 to trail Moriya by two strokes. All three play­ing part­ners will seek their first ma­jor.

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