Leishman fends off Rose challenge to win BMW Championship
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[September 18, 2017]
(Reuters) - Two weeks after a
late meltdown, Marc Leishman avoided a repeat performance as he
staved off a challenge from Justin Rose to win the BMW Championship
by five strokes outside Chicago on Sunday.
The Australian's dominant win at Conway Farms in Lake Forest shot
him to fourth in the FedExCup standings ahead of the Tour
Championship finale, behind leader Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and
Leishman began the final round with a five-shot lead and was seven
strokes in front of Englishman Rose, who twice cut the margin to two
shots on the back nine.
But Leishman would not be denied, the Australian riding a hot putter
to birdie the 15th and 16th holes and put the tournament out of
He also birdied the last to card 67 and finish at 23-under-par 261,
a tournament record, for his third victory on the PGA Tour at the
age of 33.
"There were a few scars from two weeks ago (and I was determined) to
not let that happen again," Leishman said in a greenside interview,
referring to his fade at the Dell Technologies Championship outside
Leishman had led by two shots with nine holes left in that
tournament before limping home in 40 to finish third.
"It was satisfying to finish off the way I did today," he said. "I
really wanted to prove to myself I can do it again from out in
"There was a bit of pressure there toward the end. Rosey made a run
at me. Five-shot victory probably doesn’t do the day justice. It was
a lot closer than that."
American Rickie Fowler rallied late to shoot 67 and tie Rose (65)
for second place on 18-under.
[to top of second column]
Marc Leishman tees off on the eighth hole during the final round of
the BMW Championship golf tournament at Conway Farms Golf Club.
Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Spieth, the 2015 FedExCup champion, closed with a 65
to finish tied for seventh and remains in pole position ahead of the
Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta starting Thursday.
The 30 players who qualified for the final event will vie for the
$10 million bonus awarded to the winner of the season-long points
The top five control their own fate in Atlanta. Win the tournament
and they also win the FedExCup.
Superb medium-length putting clinched the wire-to-wire victory for
Leishman as his wife Audrey looked on, two years after she nearly
died of toxic shock syndrome.
Now healthy again, she recently gave birth to the couple's third
Leishman is no stranger to emphatic victories. He won an event by 11
strokes on the PGA Tour's feeder circuit in 2008, and two years ago
beat a world class field by six strokes at the Nedbank Championship
in South Africa.
He also lost a three-way playoff won by Zach Johnson at the 2015
British Open at St. Andrews.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Gene
Cherry / Ian Ransom)
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