VICTORIAN Marc Leishman has forced his way into the mix after the second round of the US PGA Memorial Tournament, with an impressive 5-under 67 moving him to T11 at Muirfield Village.
Leishman enters the weekend four shots off the lead which is held by Sweden's David Lingmerth, after he backed up yesterday's round of 67 with a 7-under 65 today.
After an opening day 69, Leishman's second round was even better than his first, making it the first time in seven attempts at Jack Nicklaus' tournament the Victorian has posted two rounds in the 60s, moving him to 8-under.
Lingmerth leads at 12-under for the week, sitting one shot clear of former PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner who produced a roller-coaster 67, which included back-to-back eagles, one of them an ace on the 16th hole, four birdies, a bogey and a double bogey.
Leishman started on the back nine and was solid but not spectacular with three birdies and a bogey through 11 holes before he mounted a late charge.
Three straight birdies from the fifth hole and important par saves on his final two holes left him tied sixth as the morning wave finished up.
"I played pretty good today and finished strong to ensure some momentum heading into the weekend," Leishman said.
"I was going okay at five under but to be able to get on a run and get to eight really obviously helps. I am looking forward to the challenge of the next two days."
Audrey Leishman, who just months ago was given a less than five per cent chance to live after suffering from toxic shock syndrome, had walked nine holes during the first round, and while she couldn't back it up in round two, her husband was inspired.
"It's so good to see her somewhat healthy again, and the nine holes is a big step and inspiring for sure," Leishman said.
"She managed just two holes at the Players Championship and needed a cart ride back but over the last month she's made huge strides and it is great to see.
"She was really tired afterwards but hopefully she can try a few holes tomorrow and I can keep playing well."
Fellow Australian Matt Jones shot a 68 to take him to 5-under (T27) for the tournament, while last-start winner Steven Bowditch shot 71 to move to 4-under in a tie for 33rd.
Greg Chalmers and John Senden both sit at 2-under, while Queenslander Jason Day (E) and Cameron Smith (+5) have both missed the cut.
Englishman Andy Sullivan shot the lowest round of the day, carding an 8-under 64 to take him to 10-under for the week, two shots off the pace. He is joined on that mark by American Ryan Moore.
Defending champion and overnight co-leader Hideki Matsuyama backed up his opening round 64 with a 71 to be tied fifth at 9-under with veteran American Jim Furyk, Francesco Molinari, Brendon Todd, Patrick Rodgers and Justin Rose.
Five-time Memorial-winner Tiger Woods has barely qualified for the weekend by finishing on the cut-line at 1-under, after making a five-footer on the last for a score of 70.
Memorial Tournament - Round TWO LEADERBOARD
|T11||MARC LEISHMAN (AUS)||-8|
|T27||MATT JONES (AUS)||-5|
|T33||STEVEN BOWDITCH (AUS)||-4|
|T53||JOHN SENDEN (AUS)||-2|
|T53||GREG CHALMERS (AUS)||-2|
|MC||JASON DAY (AUS)||E|
|MC||CAMERON SMITH (AUS)||+5|
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