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Marc Leishman moves to edge of contention in Phoenix

Leishman not without hopes tomorrow (file) (Photo: Bruce Young)
MARC Leishman has produced a blistering third round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to get within five shots of the lead ahead of tomorrow’s final round.

The Victorian has been threatening a low number for the past two weeks but careless mistakes have proved costly both at Torrey Pines last week and again yesterday at TPC Scottsdale.

A one-time winner on the PGA Tour, Leishman took a share of the lead in California last Sunday with a birdie at the 6th hole but immediately dropped two shots at the next to fall out of contention.

Leishman was again on a charge yesterday when he was 2-under through nine before a clumsy double bogey at 10 dropped him back in the standings.

But there were no such struggles for the likeable Victorian on Saturday as he tore up the front nine in 5-under 30 before eight pars and a sixth birdie of the day on the back nine.

The round jumped Leishman to 11-under for the week and T7 with a genuine chance at a second Tour win tomorrow.

Korea’s Byeong Hun An leads the tournament at 16-under, one ahead of Scotland’s Martin Laird.

Leishman has finished T20 in each of his first two starts in 2017 but will be keen to improve on those results with a good final round tomorrow.

The quality of his golf has been better than his overall results suggest to date and while historically he has played his best golf on more difficult golf courses, current form says he is capable of plenty of birdies at TPC Scottdsdale tomorrow.

At the top of the leaderboard An is looking in outstanding form shooting a third round 65 to lead the tournament.

The former European Tour player has dropped just one shot in the opening three rounds in Arizona and an impressive par putt from almost 10 feet at the 54th hole now has him on track for a maiden PGA Tour title.

Second placed Laird, a three time winner in America, came into the week with decent form after a top 10 at the Career Builder Challenge a fortnight ago.

Laird is comfortable on the TPC Scottsdale layout boasting two top five finished in nine appearances and will fancy his chances tomorrow.

Leishman is the only Australian to reach double digits under par for the week, Queensland’s Cameron Smith and 2006 US Open winner Geoff Ogilvy both at 6-under and T35.

Matt Jones was the last of the Australians to make the cut and fired a third round 70 to be 2-under for the week and T54.


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