Golf

Leishman pulls away from chasing pack

Marc Leishman fired five birdies in a three-under 68 yesterday morning (Singapore time) 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 three-shot 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 play-off series.

Day and Fowler both carded matching 70s for 199.

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

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 this morning. 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 as the field failed to mount a challenge.

"Putting four good rounds together (is the biggest challenge)", Leishman said.

"A lot of tournaments you put three rounds together. May not be in a row. Very easy to throw a mediocre round in there. Tomorrow, I've got to try not to do that.

"After what happened at the Dell (in Boston), I've got extra determination to finish this one off and my game is in a better spot. Hopefully, I can just play well and not worry about the result too much, as hard as that will be."

This morning's drama will 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 (S$13.4m) play-off bonus will be up for grabs. - AFP