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BMW Championship: Marc Leishman leads as Rory McIlroy slips off pace

BMW Championship: Marc Leishman leads as Rory McIlroy slips off pace

"Seeing the last two days, I know I still have it in myself to be able to hit the correct shots and go out there and try and win", Day said.

Jason Day holes out as he takes the lead in PGA Tour playoffs event. I don't tend to remember rounds of golf too often. "It was a lucky hole-in-one, I guess", Day told Golf Channel after carding a six-under-par 65 at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, where he won in 2015.

Day, who last won 16 months ago, chipped in from behind the 14th green for his second eagle of the week, and then added a third eagle with one swing, which was actually a hole-in-one on the Par-3 17th hole with a 7-iron that turned into a payoff for multiple parties.

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By becoming the first player to make an ace at Conway Farms this week, BMW contributed $100,000 to the Evans Scholars Foundation that will pay for a four-year tuition.

Starting the day two back of Leishman, who opened with a nine-under 62, Day bounced back from a sloppy start featuring two bogeys with three birdies in his last four holes on the front side, before picking up an additional three shots on the inward half. The top points earner after next week's Tour Championship will receive a $10 million bonus awarded to the season-long FedExCup champion.

The popular Northern Ireland golfer, now world No 6, will be looking for his first victory in the prestigious European Tour event, having finished runner-up in 2009, 2011 and 2014.

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Rory McIlroy endured another frustrating day on the course after a 69 for 141, one-under, left him with a mountain to climb in his bid to earn a place in next week's season-ending Tour Championship.

It's certainly been a lean year for Day, one that started with him as the world's top-ranked golfer and saw him show up to this week's event without a spot in the Tour Championship assured.

Leishman came into the BMW Championship ranked seventh in the FedEx Cup standings after finishing third at the Dell Technologies Championship. "I think everything's coming in bunches right now".

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McIlroy made five birdies, but carded a double bogey at the sixth and dropped another shot at the 13th. He looked away briefly before the ball hit the fringe and kicked forward toward the hole before rolling in.