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Marc Leishman within striking distance at Sentry TOC

Leishman - can he win a 5th PGA Tour title - file (Photo: Getty )
Gary Woodland retained his three-shot lead at the completion of 54 holes of the Sentry Tournament of Champions but Australia’s Marc Leishman again produced a strong finishing stretch to be just four behind the leader and alone in 3rd place heading into tomorrow’s final round.

Leishman has played the closing nine holes of the TPC Plantation Course at Kapaula Resort in a total of 11 under par and if he can find a way to handle the front nine well in tomorrow’s final round then his 5th PGA Tour title is certainly within reach.

Handling the winds which again buffeted the Kapaula Resort with consumate ease, Leishman opened with a birdie from 20 feet at the first but followed up with a three putt bogey at the 2nd before reaching the turn in 1 under and then storming home.  

Just one shot behind the 2nd placed Rory McIlroy, Leishman is well placed to potentially contend for the title but importantly continue his superb start to the 2018 / 2019 season having already won and event in his two starts to date this season.

A victory, should it happen tomorrow, would also move Leishman back to 13th on the World Ranking, a position he held twelve months ago.

Jason Day was the other Australian to make it into the elite field for the winners only event but today he produced a shocker of an opening nine of 5 over 41 and although he rallied back with a closing nine of 34, his round of 75 saw him slip nine places to the point where he now shares 18th place after a solid start over the opening 36 holes.

Woodland once again impressed although it took an eagle from 60 feet at the 15th hole to establish a significant break on the field. He would also birdie the last to move three clear of McIlroy who, in his very first appearance in the event, has taken an instant liking to the Plantation layout and the strong breezy conditions that have prevailed.

World Number One Brooks Kopka's reign at the top of the game would appear to be in jeopardy after three unimpressive rounds to date have him in 29th position in the 33 player field.

Koepka needs to finish in a two-way tie for 8th, or better, otherwise Justin Rose, who is not playing this week, will return to the top in the first Official World Golf Ranking of 2019.


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