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Leishman leads by two at BMW Championship

Update: September, 15/2017 - 13:00
Marc Leishman of Australia hits his tee shot on the 13th hole during the first round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club on September 14, in Lake Forest, Illinois. -- AFP Photo
Viet Nam News

Golf

CHICAGO — Marc Leishman blasted out of the gate at the BMW Championship on Thursday, firing a nine-under par 62 to take a two-shot first-round lead over Jason Day, Charley Hoffman and Jamie Lovemark in the US PGA Tour’s penultimate playoff event.

Leishman, 33, came into the tournament in seventh place in the FedEx Cup standings.

But with his sizzling round at Conway Farms he stole the spotlight from Jordan Spieth, who leads the playoff standings and played alongside Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson -- who are right behind Spieth in the race for the $10 million playoff series bonus.

Leishman set the tone with a birdie at the first, one of six birdies with one bogey on his front nine.

"I hit the ball really well, which is obviously what you have to do to shoot that score," Leishman said. "But probably more importantly I putted well, I made the opportunities that I gave myself.

"When you play golf and all you’re thinking about his making birdies, it’s a lot easier than trying to not make bogeys," added Leishman, who picked up four more birdies coming in for a comfortable clubhouse lead.

Day sliced into that lead with five birdies in a storming back nine.

Former world number one Day, who this week announced that longtime coach Col Swatton would no longer serve as his caddie, rebounded from a bogey at the second hole with a birdie at the fourth and an eagle at the par-five eighth -- where he landed his second shot three feet from the pin.

Day, playing with longtime friend Luke Reardon on his bag, capped his back nine with a four-foot birdie at the par-five 18th to complete his seven-under 64.

"A good step in the right direction, especially with having Luke on the bag," said Day, who won at Conway Farms in 2015 but admitted he "just didn’t know" how it would go without Swatton on his bag.

"I think Luke did a fantastic job out there. We worked well together and hope we can keep that going."

Lovemark seized his share of second place with an eagle at the 18th, while Hoffman rapped in a six-foot birdie putt at the last to complete his seven-under effort. --AFP

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