Leishman fires career-low 61 to lead Byron Nelson

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 21, 2018

Marc Leishman hit two eagles in a 10-under round of 61 to take a commanding three-shot lead after the first day of the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas.

Dallas native Jordan Spieth also shot a 5-under 66, but is now eight strokes back.

Derry's Ruaidhri McGee (69) tied for third on seven-under, two shots behind Stuart Manley and Hugo Leon with Michael Hoey (68) tied ninth on five-under, Cormac Sharvin (70) 23rd on three-under and Dermot McElroy (73) tied 44th on one-under par.

Leishman opened with an eagle, started the back nine with three straight birdies and reached 9 under with another eagle at the 14th.

But while he birdied the next and then rattled in six birdies in eight holes on the back nine, he three-putted his final hole from 12 feet, lipping out from inside three feet for par. Albeit at a different course, it was at the Nelson in 2005 that Tiger Woods' record of 142 consecutive cuts was broken.

Americans JJ Spaun and Jimmy Walker are Leishman's nearest challengers, each carding seven-under par 64.

Wind gusted above 25 mph at times after two rounds of calmer conditions and lower scores on the treeless, links-style layout a few miles south of downtown Dallas. "It reminds me of back in Australia. I know better than that on certain shots".

"I'm not disappointed that the wind's forecast to get up", said Leishman, a three-time PGA Tour victor.

"This will be the second Saturday in a row I'm in the final group", Wise said.

Spieth was hoping for the teeth on one of his home courses, but couldn't take advantage of his experience with it.

Leishman broke the 36-hole record of 12-under 128 achieved on six prior occasions at the tournament's former home of TPC Four Seasons, including twice by Tiger Woods and most recently by Jason Kokrak past year.

His putting struggles are a real problem this year, but what's more alarming is him missing putts from so close. "You've got to think your way through it a little bit more than some of the courses we play". "I like how the ball is running out in the fairways".

"I finish 16th tomorrow and people are going to say, 'What's wrong?'" said Spieth, a three-time major victor.

"It was about as easy tee to green as I've ever seen this place", Spieth said.

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