ON THE LINKS Saturday’s pro golf results
LAKE FOREST, Ill.
Marc Leishman finished with a birdie for a 3-under 68 to extend his lead to five shots over Jason Day and Rickie Fowler going into the final round of the BMW Championship. Leishman gets another chance to win a FedEx Cup playoff event and get one of the top five seeds at the Tour Championship. It’s a much better opportunity than he had two weeks ago at the TPC Boston, when he shared the 54-hole lead with Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth was right behind. This time, the affable Australian has a big cushion. Fowler and Day failed to take advantage of the scoring holes on the back nine at Conway Farms, and both had to settle for a 70. Leishman was at 19-under 194
VICTORIA, British Columbia
David McKenzie birdied the final six even-numbered holes for a 7-under 64 and a share of the lead with Jerry Smith in the PGA Tour Champions’ Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship. McKenzie, the 50-year-old Australian who Tuesday qualified to get in the field, began the unique run on the par-4 eighth and added birdies on Nos. 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 to match Smith at 12-under 130 on Bear Mountain’s Mountain Course. Making his third senior start after turning 50 on July 26, McKenzie is trying to become the first qualifier to win since Willie Wood in the 2012 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. McKenzie tied for second last month in the regular European Tour’s Fiji International. Smith, tied for the first-round lead with Steve Flesch, followed his opening 64 with a 66. Jerry Kelly was a stroke back after a 66. Kelly won the Boeing Classic three weeks ago outside Seattle for his first tour victory. Flesch had a 70 to drop into a tie for sixth at 8 under. Charles Schwab Cup points leader Bernhard Langer also was 8 under after a 69. Coming off a two-week break, the 60-year-old German star won three of the tour’s five majors and is tied with Scott McCarron for tour victory lead with four. John Daly, a stroke back after an opening 65, had two triple bogeys in a 79 to tumble into a tie for 60th at 2 over.
Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand shot 3-under 68 to lead the Evian Championship second round, and could join her younger sister Ariya in golf’s record book. Seeking to be the first sisters to win a major title, Moriya’s 9-under total left her one shot ahead of Ayako Uehara of Japan, who had seven birdies in her round of 66. The leading group on Sunday is completed by Katherine Kirk of Australia, who carded a 69 to trail Moriya by two strokes. All three playing partners will seek their first major. Victory for Moriya — who has a career-best finish of 10th at a major — would make the Jutanugarns the first sisters to win a major since the U.S. LPGA Tour was founded 67 years ago. Ariya, who was top-ranked this season, won the 2016 Women’s British Open. “I probably don’t feel that bad playing on the golf course rather than watching my sister play,” said Moriya, who recalled feeling “nervous, excited” last year when finishing her round to watch Ariya win at Woburn, England. Two pairs of brothers have won major titles, though not for more than 50 years. Lionel and Jay Hebert of the United States each won a U.S. PGA Championship, in 1957 and 1960, respectively. The Park brothers of Scotland, Mungo and Willie, won back-to-back British Opens in 1874 and ‘75. That was Willie Park’s fourth Open title. The fifth women’s major of the season is a 54-hole event after weather-affected play on Thursday was wiped from the record. Moriya had chances to match her 65 from Friday’s first round though let birdie chances slip after consistently accurate approach shots. “I played pretty solid today,” Moriya said, “couldn’t make a little more putts.” Uehara is ranked only No. 163 yet her 14 birdies so far are two more than anyone else on the rain-softened Evian Resort course looking across Lake Geneva to Switzerland.