Thanks to a final-round 67, Marc Leishman rode a five-shot 54-hole lead to a five-shot victory Sunday at the BMW Championship. Here’s how things played out at the second-to-last event of the PGA Tour season.
Leaderboard: Leishman (-23), Justin Rose (-18), Rickie Fowler (-18), Jason Day (-16), Matt Kuchar (-15), Jon Rahm (-15)
What it means: This is Leishman’s third PGA Tour victory and his second this year following his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. Up five to start the final round, Leishman ceded ground at different points throughout the day and saw his lead shrink to just two shots on two separate occasions on the back nine, as Rose gave charge. But each time the lead slipped to two, Leishman responded with a birdie, at the 15th and 16th holes, to pad his cushion and pave his walk to the winner’s circle. The victory moves Leishman to fourth in the FedExCup standings, meaning he would be guaranteed to claim the FedExCup and its $10 million prize with a follow-up win next week at the Tour Championship.
Who advanced to East Lake: Four players who started the week outside the top 30 are now heading to season finale. They are Tony Finau (39th to 24th), Sergio Garcia, (34th to 25th), Xander Schauffele (32nd to 26th), and Patrick Cantlay (41st to 29th). Jason Dufner dropped five spots from 25th but held on to the 30th and final position. Players who qualify for the Tour Championship are automatically exempt into the following year’s Masters, U.S. Open, and Open Championship.
Who did not: Four players moving into the top 30 meant that four players had to slide out. They are Louis Oosthuizen (24th to 31st), Henrik Stenson (26th to 32nd), Brendan Steele (27th to 33rd), and Bill Haas (30th to 35th). Other notables who saw their season come to an end on Sunday included Phil Mickelson (34th), Players champion Si Woo Kim (55th), and next week’s defending champion Rory McIlroy (58th). Mickelson missed the top 30 by a single shot. Had this pitch shot on the 72nd hole gone down, he would be on his way to East Lake.
The miracle chip to qualify for East Lake?— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) September 17, 2017
Phil.... AHHHH! pic.twitter.com/xpic8DU9zS
Round of the day: Brooks Koepka and Kevin Na fired the rounds of the week with 8-under 63s. Koepka will move on to the Tour Championship, while Na will call it a season after finishing 45th on the points list.
Best of the rest: Finau, Zach Johnson and Dustin Johnson carded 64s. Finau capped his round with a chip-in birdie at 18, guaranteeing him his first Tour Championship and Masters appearances.
Save of the day: Garcia needed upwards of 20 minutes to finish the 18th hole after finding the greenside creek with his second shot. Garcia – after a lengthy discussion with a rules official – was able to move his ball within the hazard without incurring a penalty stroke. He needed yet more relief one shot later from the grandstands. But an up-and-down from the rough resulted in a closing par and a trip to the Tour Championship.