Thursday, March 22, 2018

Marc Leishman shoots tournament record 23-under 261 to win BMW Championship

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The clutch shots down the stretch in the BMW Champion­ship belonged to everyone except the winner.

Marc Leishman didn't really need them.

Going in with a five-shot lead and determined not to let another FedEx Cup playoff event get away from him, Leishman never gave anyone much of a chance Sunday at Conway Farms. And when Justin Rose made a late run and closed within two, Leishman made back-to-back birdies to put it away, then added one more for 4-under 67 to set the tournament scoring record.

Leishman went wire-to-wire for the first time on the PGA Tour. The Australian moved up to No. 4 in the FedEx Cup, giving him a clear shot at the $10 million bonus next week. He moved into the top 15 in the world.

But this mainly was about redemption for losing a two-shot lead on the back nine at TPC Boston two weeks ago.

"When the pressure got put on that back nine by Rosie, I reacted with birdies," Leishman said. "Didn't get too worried. Just tried to keep doing my own thing and give myself chances. … Backing up what happened (in Boston) was probably the most satisfying thing for me. I was just really determined to not let that happen again."

Leishman finished at 23-under 261, breaking the 72-hole tournament record that Tiger Woods set at Cog Hill in 2007.

Rose ran out of hope when he made bogey on the par-3 17th and closed with 65. Rickie Fowler ran off three straight birdies only after he was too far back and shot 67. Both finished five back.

Jon Rahm birdied four of his last five holes for 67 and 15-under 269 overall and will be the No. 5 seed for the FedEx Cup finale next week at the Tour Championship. Jordan Spieth kept the No. 1 seed, followed by Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Leishman.

LPGA: Defying driving rain and hail in a playoff, Anna Nordqvist beat Brittany Altomare at the first extra hole to win the Evian Championship in Evian-Les-Bains, France. Nordqvist took the final major of the season by sinking a 4-foot putt for bogey 5 on the soaked 18th hole while the 102nd-ranked Altomare had 6. Nordqvist and Altomare both shot 66 for 9-under 204. Second-round leader Moriya Jutanugarn and two-time major winner Lydia Ko fell out of the playoff by dropping shots on the 18th. Jutanugarn (72) and Ko (69) tied for third with Katherine Kirk at 205.

CHAMPIONS: Jerry Kelly shot 3-under 68 to win the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship in Victoria, British Columbia, for his second victory in his past three starts. Kelly finished at 14-under 199 for a one-shot victory over Lee Janzen (68). David McKenzie double-bogeyed 14 and 17 for 71 and a tie for third with Tommy Armour III (67). Jerry Smith, tied with McKenzie for the lead after two rounds, shot 75 to finish six back.