Leishman seeks wire-to-wire win at BMW Championship
After birdieing half of his first 36 holes at the 2017 BMW Championship, Marc Leishman cooled off Saturday but still managed to stay atop the leaderboard at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.
On a “Moving Day” that largely wasn’t, Leishman’s workman-like 3-under 68 made him the man to beat heading into Sunday’s final round. He holds a five-shot lead over Rickie Fowler and 2015 BMW Championsip winner Jason Day, who both shot 1-under on Saturday.
“The 62 on Thursday was obviously pretty nice but, you know, today was almost as satisfying going into a Saturday with a lead to play the way I did,” Leishman said. “I gave myself a lot of chances, though I probably didn't putt quite as well as earlier in the week.”
Leishman’s best finish at the BMW Championship came in 2009 at Cog Hill when he finished tied for second, eight shots behind eventual winner Tiger Woods.
He is attempting to become only the third Australian ever to hoist the J.K. Wadley Trophy. Robert Allenby was the first player in 2000 at Cog Hill. Day won at Conway Farms in 2015.
Day said chasing down his fellow countryman will be no easy feat.
“We’ve got to come out and play really good golf because he's not making any mistakes,” Day said. “He's hitting it in the right spots, hitting it on the greens and holing putts. That's a good formula for success and it's going to be tough tomorrow.”
On a unseasonably steamy September day on Chicago’s North Shore, the field largely struggled to put up the same low scores they carded earlier in the week. Thirty-two players shot 70 or better on Saturday, compared to 44 during the first round and 38 in round two.
Jon Rahm was one of the few exceptions. On a day when many – including Leishman, Fowler and Day – carded their worst scores of the week, the 22-year-old Spanish phenom turned in his best, making seven birdies to shoot 6-under 65.
Rahm is tied for fifth alongside Scott Brown and Ryan Moore.
“Well, it was a great round, and very similar to yesterday's ball-striking wise.” he said. “I hit the ball really well both days but the only difference today is I was able to make a couple putts, especially the (26-foot birdie) putt on 17.”
The final round begins tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. Leishman and Fowler tee off at 12:50 p.m.