Leishman shows class with wire-to-wire BMW victory
Marc Leishman was in a class of his own leading from start-to-finish and unchallenged to capture a second PGA Tour this season with a record-equalling playoffs victory at the BMW Championship at Conway Farms.
Leishman also captured the 11th win of his professional career but easily the biggest in posting a closing round 67 to win by five shots with a 23-under par triumph.
Leishman deflected everyone who sought to deny him the BMW title including fellow Australian Jason Day, American golfing heart-throb Rickie Fowler and Olympic Gold Medal winning Justin Rose.
However, the 33-year old Leishman stood firm in recording five final round birdies, and none more important than birdies at 15 and 16 after he had bogeyed the 13th.
And then to cement his success, Leishman birdied the last for good measure leaving Rose (65) and Fowler (67) sharing second place at a distant 18-under par.
WITB – Marc Leishman
- Callaway GBB Epic Driver (9º)
- Callaway GBB Epic Fairway Wood (15º)
- Callaway Steelhead XR Fairway Wood (21º)
- Callaway Apex Utility Irons (3-iron)
- Callaway Apex Pro 16 Irons (4-PW)
- Callaway Mack Daddy Forged Wedge (54º)
- Odyssey Versa #1W Black Putter
- Chrome Soft X Golf Ball
“It is unbelievable to win and I guess this also makes amends for last fortnight,” said Leishman after he led late on the final day of the Dell Technologies only to finish third.
“There’s probably a few little scars from two weeks ago at the Dell but I was just really, really determined to just not let that happen again and try to give myself a big enough buffer that I could get it done. And yeah, I got it done.”
Marc Leishman celebrates his BMW Championship win with his family (Credit: PGA Tour)
“Rose made a really good run at me towards the end but I just happen to hole a couple of putts there on 15 and 16 for birdie to sneak away a little bit.”
“It was so nice to roll in that birdie on 18 so that was like the icing on the cake.”
Leishman had led by two after day one of the US$8.75m event and then by three on day two while he went into the final round of the penultimate event of the 2016/17 PGA Tour wraparound season leading by a massive five shots, and with suggestions he could win by eight, and if so, match the victory winning margin set by Tiger Woods and Day.
However, it was more a case of the reverse with Leishman leading by two when he bogeyed the 13th but three birdies in his last four holes silenced any threat to the title.
“I have to say I am a professional sleeper but I slept terrible last night, so that was a tough night for me,” he said.
“I knew it would be a tough day leading as I was by five shots but to birdie the first with that chip shot to two-feet was a great way for me to settle straight into the round.”
In fact, it was the third occasion in the four rounds Leishman had began with an opening birdie.
First to greet Leishman was his wife and now three children with Audrey carrying the couple’s youngest, daughter Eva just 16 months after Audrey nearly died from sepsis and toxic shock syndrome.
And to highlight the disease, Leishman used the event as a chance to spread awareness for sepsis and toxic shock syndrome. He asked the players to wear ribbons on their caps this week to celebration Sepsis Awareness Month. It seemed only fitting Audrey, and their three young children were there to greet him.
Leishman’s win has seen him jump three places to No. 4 on the FedExCup standings and among the leading five who will now determine who is crowned champion at the Tour Championship.
“It has been an amazing season for me winning the Arnold Palmer near the start of the year and now winning the BMW Championship,” he said.
“To have also played so well in Boston was a great experience and it was just nice all week here in Chicago to be standing over the putter and seeing the line, and then being able to hit it on the line and it’s even better when they go in and also got me the win today.”
As for Monday, Leishman revealed he will look forward to celebrating with his parents who he said were still ‘in the air’ winging their way from Melbourne to be with their three-time PGA Tour winning son and his family.
“I will get to see them tomorrow (Monday) and I am sure me and my dad will have a couple of beers to celebrate before it is back to business in getting to Atlanta on Tuesday.”
Despite a T12 finish this week, Queensland’s Cameron Smith will the exit the race after finishing 46th in the FedExCup with only the Top 30 moving through to the Tour Championship.