CARMEL, Ind. – Marc Leishman thought he’d blown his FedEx Cup chances.
Safely inside the top 70 in points, he made a double-bogey 5 on his 17th hole of the day Monday at TPC Boston. But lining up a 20-footer for birdie on the par-4 ninth, he stared directly at the electronic leaderboard that showed he was still projected to advance to the third leg of the playoffs. “I was able to lay that putt down and hope that nothing silly happened,” he said.
Leishman polished off his final-round 67 and was reassured by the Tour mathematician in the scoring tent that he was moving on to this week’s BMW Championship. Barely.
At No. 70, he needs a solo third or better this week to ensure that he will reach the Tour Championship for the first time since 2009.
“It’s pretty simple what I have to do,” he said. “Play to win.”
Leishman has been slowed in recent weeks by two bulging disks and a herniated disk in his lower back. His tie for ninth at the Travelers Championship is his only top-10 finish since mid-February.
Reaching the Tour Championship comes with a variety of perks, none more important than securing a spot in the year’s first three majors. But for Leishman, the accomplishment is even more significant.
“I want to prove to myself, as well as to everyone else, that I’m a good player and can cement myself high in the rankings on the Tour and the world rankings,” he said.