Marc Leishman holds off Justin Rose to win BMW Championship

SHARE Marc Leishman holds off Justin Rose to win BMW Championship

Marc Leishman reacts to a birdie on the 15th hole during the final round of the BMW Championship on Sunday at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest. | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

What a fun final day it was at the BMW Championship.

Low scores galore, led by 8-under-par 63s from Brooks Koepka and Kevin Na. A late charge by Justin Rose. A Sergio Garcia on-the-rocks melodrama. A desperate charge by Phil Mickelson.

From single-name perennials, such as Sergio and Phil, to the horde of young standouts, including Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, everyone in the 70-player field seemed to be swinging for the fences Sunday at Conway Farms in Lake Forest.

But when all was said and done, a relatively invisible man stood the tallest.

Shaking off a jarring disappointment in the previous FedEx Cup event, Marc Leishman didn’t falter this time. The 33-year-old Australian capped a wire-to-wire victory with a 4-under 67 in the final round.

He finished at 23-under 261, five shots ahead of Rose (6-under 65) and Fowler (67). Rose twice closed to two shots on the back nine, but Leishman answered with clutch putting each time.

‘‘He’s great,’’ Rose said. ‘‘I often notice Leishman is on the leaderboard along with me. We play similar games. I was getting close. Leish put it in gear there.’’

It was a welcome turnabout for Leishman. With a two-shot lead with nine holes to play in Boston on Labor Day, he shot a final-nine 40 and wound up finishing sixth.

‘‘There’s probably a few little scars from two weeks ago,’’ Leishman said. ‘‘I was really determined to not let that happen again, to try and give myself a big-enough buffer that I could get it done. And I got it done.’’

Leishman’s 261 is a record for the BMW, and his 23-under total tied the tournament low achieved by Dustin Johnson last year.

Garcia slowed the field with a 20-minute delay to explore his options after his second shot on the par-5 18th landed on the rocks of a creek. After pondering a ricochet shot, Garcia eventually took a drop, made par and earned a spot in the Tour Championship in Atlanta at 25th in the FedEx Cup standings.

‘‘I had the possibility of playing it against the rock because it was flat,’’ Garcia said. ‘‘[But] the grandstand on the right side of the green was in my way, so I was able to get relief from that. So [I] dropped inside the hazard.’’

Mickelson, who was paired with Garcia, took a run at making the 30-player field in Atlanta. He made an eagle on the par-4 15th and played the last three holes in 1 under but came up short. He finished 34th in the standings.

Asked if the delay before his birdie putt on the 18th bothered him, Mickelson said: ‘‘No. I needed that extra 38 minutes to read that putt.’’

Tony Finau, on the other hand, was excited about his finish. A chip-in birdie on the 18th moved him up to 24th in the standings and left him high-fiving his caddie. Moving into the top 30 earned him his first Masters berth, as well as the trip to Atlanta.

Jordan Spieth also enjoyed his day. He shot a 65 to finish tied for seventh and assure that he remained No. 1 in the standings, ‘‘which is great. That was my goal today — to maintain the No. 1 position. I think I have to win next week to win Player of the Year. And that’s really our MVP. That’s the most important award.’’

Folllow me on Twitter @HerbGould and at

‘Spectacular’ Marc Leishman extends lead at BMW Championship

Leishman maintains lead after two rounds of BMW Championship

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