Leishman flies the flag

WARRNAMBOOL export Marc Leishman is well placed to celebrate Australia Day with a victory in the US PGA tour event at iconic Torrey Pines, where he feels right at home.

The 30-year-old is tied for second place, just one shot off the lead going into the final round today (AEDT).

Leishman ground out an even par 72 third round in tough course conditions to trail only big-hitting American Gary Woodland (70) who leads at eight-under 208.

Overnight leader Jordan Spieth (75) shares second place with Leishman, while Americans Pat Perez (72) and Morgan Hoffman (72) are tied fourth at six-under.

There are 22 players, including Australian Jason Day (73), all within four shots of the lead at the southern California venue. Leishman was runner-up at the event in 2011 and ninth in 2012

“I’ve been playing pretty well all week. I love this golf course,” Leishman said.

“I think it’s all the grasses I grew up on as a kid, Kikuyu fairways, poa greens and there’s gum trees everywhere.

“It’s long and tough, I like it when par’s a good score. I always have a good feeling when I come here.”

Leishman was excited about the synergy of Australia Day coinciding with the final round as he eyes a possible second US tour title.

“I hope there’s something in that,” he said.

“It would be great to play well tomorrow and win on Australia Day, but there’s a lot of golf to play, especially on that course out there with how tough it is.”

World number one Tiger Woods, the defending champion and seven-time event winner, shot an alarming round of 79, his worst at the venue by far and exited in the third round cut.

Stuart Appleby was the only other Australian under par for the tournament after a round of 72 left him one-under. AAP


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