Leishman takes two-shot lead in LIV Golf

Marc Leishman has shot a five-under-par 66 second round to get to 11 under and lead the LIV Golf event in Arizona by two shots from Sergio Garcia.

MARC LEISHMAN. Picture: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Marc Leishman finds himself in a rare and privileged position after claiming a two-shot lead going into the final round of the LIV Golf event in Arizona.

The Australian first-round leader opened with an eagle and shot a five-under 66 at The Gallery GC on Saturday to get to 11-under but he has two major winners breathing down his neck.

Sergio Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion, was outright second after a 65 with 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (68) a further shot back and tied with Cameron Tringale, Charles Howell and Brendan Steele.

Leishman hasn't had many opportunities in recent years to enter the final round of a golf tournament as the solo leader and is determined to make the most of his latest chance.

"There's been a few here and there," the 39-year-old said. "But it's been a year or two.

"Obviously you play early in the tournament to try to put yourself into a good position, and I've played well enough to do my first part of the job.

"But there's probably more than half the work to do tomorrow."

Seeking a 14th career pro victory, Leishman admitted he'd fallen into a habit of letting a rough stretch ruin his round but he dropped only one shot on Saturday.

"I had a really hot start, then cooled on the back nine," said Leishman, who was four under for his round through eight holes.

"But I didn't let it get away from me."

Leishman's countryman Matt Jones racked up eight birdies but also a double bogey and two bogeys to be tied 10th, six shots from the lead.

Australia's world No.5 Cameron Smith (70) was well out of the individual title picture, tied 34th in the 48-player field, 10 shots behind Leishman.

Fellow Australian Jed Morgan was tied 45th at five over after a 74.

The Australian team, Ripper, was third in the teams competition at 17 under - counting the scores of Leishman, Jones and Smith - five shots behind Garcia's leading Fireballs.

Garcia, whose last victory anywhere was in Mississippi more than two years ago, could have been even closer to Leishman had he not missed a two-foot par putt at the 16th.

with The AP