BMW Championship: Marc Leishman goes four clear as Rory McIlroy drops away

Marc Leishman
Marc Leishman's last victory on the US PGA Tour came at the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year
BMW Championship, third-round leaderboard
-19 M Leishman (Aus); -14 J Day (Aus), R Fowler (US); -12 J Rose (Eng); -11 J Rahm (Spa), S Brown, R Moore, C Hoffman, C Reavie, M Kuchar, P Cantlay (all US)
Selected others: -9 P Mickelson (US), S Garcia (Spa) -7 J Spieth (US); -6 P Casey (Eng); -5 I Poulter (Eng); -2 R McIlroy (NI)
Full leaderboardexternal-link

Australian Marc Leishman leads by five strokes heading into the final round of the BMW Championship, with Rory McIlroy's FedEx Cup hopes all but over.

Leishman's three-under 68 moved him to 19 under as he extended his lead over Jason Day and American Rickie Fowler.

Defending champion McIlroy is 10 shots off the top-four finish he needs to make the Tour Championship, the final Tour event of the season.

England's Justin Rose is fourth on the back of a five-under round in Illinois.

McIlroy was on three under through 13 at the Conway Farms course, when a double-bogey seven dented his round.

The Northern Irishman is projected to slide from 51st to 60th in the FedEx Cup standings. Only the top 30 will qualify for the season finale at East Lake, Georgia.

McIlroy won a three-way play-off at last year's Tour Championship to take home $10m (£7.7m) in prize money.

Rose's place at this year's event looks secure after a typically consistent bogey-free round, featuring a run of three birdies in four holes on the front nine.

But Leishman's birdie at the par-five 18th has put him in pole position on Sunday to secure a third US PGA Tour title.

"A lot of tournaments you put three rounds together, but maybe not be in a row," said Leishman. "It's very easy to throw a mediocre round in there. Tomorrow I've got to try not to do that."

How does the FedEx Cup work?

  • Players pick up points throughout the regular season in each event they play. Most tournaments give 500 points to the winner
  • The top 125 players enter the play-offs, which consist of four tournaments and where winning carries 2,000 points
  • The field is whittled down to 100, 70 and then 30 for the final event, the Tour Championship
  • Points are then reset, so that the number one player has 2,000 points, number two has 1,800 and number 30 has 115
  • Points earned at the Tour Championship are added to that reset value and the player with the highest points total is named winner of the FedEx Cup
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