Leish, Day go 1-2 in Chicago

Marc Leishman
Another birdie, on the eighth, for Marc Leishman today. Image: Getty

 

Marc Leishman and Jason Day will go into the weekend's play at the BMW Championship in the one-two slots in an Australian eclipse at Conway Farms in Chicago.

Leishman today carded a 64 to go with his opening 62 to seize a three-shot lead through two rounds of the US PGA Tour's penultimate playoff tournament, worth $US8.75 million.

But Day would not be outdone; his seven iron shot at the par-three 17th hole bounced a couple of times and buried into the cup for an ace as he carded a 64 to find a tie for second place with Rickie Fowler.

Completing the picture Queenslander Cameron Smith also is in the top 10 after a 68 today, giving himself a chance of reaching next week's Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Victorian Leishman has already had his career-best season, reaching a world No. 22 ranking, but he is justifying that billing this week, big-time.

Starting the day with a two-shot lead he was reeled in before he teed off in the second round, and after a birdie at the first he went into lull until the seventh hole, where he jarred a wedge shot from 45 metres into the cup for birdie. "I was half-thinking of landing it over the hill, (I) decided that was a higher-risk shot. I landed it short, it was always going to roll down. I said to my caddie: 'This could go in'. We couldn't see it. It had a bit of speed and in she goes.''

It began a run of three consecutive birdies. His only bogey of the day came at the par-three 17th where his tee shot flared right and he failed to get up and down from near the sponsor's area. But Leishman is flushing the ball; two beautiful strikes at the par-five 18th left him on the back of the green and he two-putted for birdie and reached 16-under for the two rounds.

The 33-year-old began the week seventh in the Fedex Cup rankings, which carry a $US 10 million bonus next week in Atlanta for the winner, and is projected to climb to fourth if he wins in Chicago this week.

Day went on a rollercoaster ride today with his hole-in-one, five birdies, an eagle and three bogeys on his round, but he is well-placed in his first tournament with new caddie Luke Reardon.

Smith also closed his day on a nice note with a two-putt birdie at the last to be tied-seventh. The young Queenslander needs a top-four finish to get into the top 30 players who will go to the Tour Championship next week, but he has put himself into a great position.

Jordan Spieth, the Fedex Cup leader, is tied-12th through two rounds of this tournament after a 70 today.

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