losangelesnewstoday.com March 19, 2018

Leishman extends advantage as Rose and Day lurk

18 September 2017, 12:36 | Maryann Sutton

Leishman extends advantage as Rose and Day lurk

Dramatic finish for Sergio Garcia at BMW Championship to stay in FedEx Cup contention

Starting the day two back of Leishman, Day bounced back from a sloppy start featuring two bogeys with three birdies in his last four holes on the front side, before picking up an additional three shots on the inward half.

"I hit the ball really well, which is obviously what you have to do to shoot that score", Leishman said. The game's in a really good spot but the way the course is getting, you've got to be right on your game. Very easy to throw a mediocre round in there.

Two weeks ago, the 33-year-old Victorian surrendered the 54-hole lead at TPC Boston, allowing Justin Thomas to win the second event of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

The Australian opened with a round of 62 and briefly looked like carding another on Friday, only for a bogey at the 17th to ensure that the chasing pack remain on his coat tails entering the weekend.

"We were trying to land it 182 (yards) and I kind of pushed it", said the 29-year-old, who won the 2015 title at Conway Farms.

Leishman is in ideal position to hoist the J.K. Wadley Trophy at the BMW Championship. "Quite happy with how he's happy because we're on the Presidents Cup team together but saying that, I mean he's going to be very hard to beat tomorrow".

Fowler started promisingly by sinking a 25-foot eagle putt from the fringe at the par-five first, but he struggled to buy a putt thereafter, his only birdie a near tap-in at the par-five 14th.

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American Patrick Cantlay is solo fourth at 10-under after a 65, while Italy's Francesco Molinari sits in fifth place at nine-under following his 65.

Victorian native Leishman is searching for his second win this year after claiming the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and a first wire-to-wire victory on the PGA Tour.

Leishman's 64 sees him lead by three shots at 16-under overall, ahead of Day and Fowler.

Day, seeking his first victory in more than a year, carded a 65 at the Conway Farms Golf Club in IL, benefiting from what he called a "lucky" hole-in-one at the 188-yard par-three 17th hole.

Fellow Australian Day (5/1), Charley Hoffman (16/1) and Jamie Lovemark (25/1) were his nearest challengers on seven under, while Fowler (7/1) lies in the group a further shot back after birdieing six of his final seven holes.

The third-round leader/co-leader has won the last three consecutive years (Billy Horschel/2014, Jason Day/2015, Dustin Johnson/2016) at the BMW Championship. That dropped him from two shots off of Leishman's pace to five shots back, into a tie for second with Rickie Fowler.

"Generally, I say to my wife if I have a bad round, 'Just give me 10 minutes and I'll be all right", Leishman said. I've got to somehow try to catch up to my number.

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