Marc Leishman shoots nine under to bag lowest round of the year at BMW Championship in Chicago

LEADING: Marc Leishman watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the BMW Championship golf tournament. Picture: AAP

LEADING: Marc Leishman watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the BMW Championship golf tournament. Picture: AAP

IN-FORM Warrnambool golfer Marc Leishman is brimming with confidence after bagging his lowest round of the year at the BMW Championship in Chicago.

Leishman spearheaded a red-hot Australian contingent at Conway Farms Golf Club with countrymen Jason Day and Cameron Smith also high on the leaderboard at the 70-man event.

Fresh from a third-place finish at the previous FedEx Cup play-offs event in Boston, Leishman holds a two-shot lead over world number nine Day and Americans Charley Hoffman and Jamie Lovemark.

Leishman fired a stunning nine-under-par 62, with Day, Lovemark and Hoffman (all 64) at seven-under.

FedEx Cup points leader Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler (both 65) headline a five-way tie for fifth at six-under.

Warrnambool native Leishman's card of 62 is his lowest score of a breakout season that includes a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, as well as six top-10s and 14 top-25s.

"A round like that is special. I haven't had a real low round for a long time, so it was nice to do that in a big tournament like the BMW," Leishman said.

At seventh in the FedEx standings, Leishman needs a solo second-place at the BMW to move into the top-five seedings for next week's Tour Championship.

The top-five are guaranteed the $US10 million FedEx cup prize with a victory at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. "I did a lot of work charting and studying the greens before the tournament, like I did in Boston. I'm feeling great with the putter," Leishman said.