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British Open leaderboard: Marc Leishman flirts with majors scoring record at St. Andrews

Marc Leishman came oh so close to setting a new major championship scoring record but he’ll happily settle for a 64 and a share of second place at St. Andrews.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Leishman took advantage of superb scoring conditions in Sunday’s third round of the British Open by shooting an 8-under 64 to rocket up the leaderboard and just a shot behind Dustin Johnson.

The Australian, who withdrew from the Masters in April when his wife almost died from a rare illness, was on the brink of major championship history as he reached the 17th tee. A birdie-birdie finish would have given him the first 62 in major championship history.

Alas, it was not to be, as Leishman made pars on the last two holes of his third round, but he had the round of the Open Championship as he rocketed from 50th to a tie for second place. He had birdie putts burn the edge on two of his last three holes to just miss the record.

The possibility of a 62 entered Leishman’s mind when his caddie mentioned it on the 16th hole. That spurred him on to "try to get a few extra birdies."

For sure, the putts were dropping for Leishman, who rolled in eight birdie putts in a 12-hole span and leaped to 9-under for the tournament -- just one shot behind the 36-hole leader DJ. A par on the road hole meant he would have to make eagle on No. 18 if he were to post a magic number.

"I hit a good shot in there, a good putt so I wasn’t disappointed. Par’s a good score on 17," said Leishman, who found 15 of 16 fairways, 14 of 18 greens, and needed just 25 putts.

Leishman’s spectacular round came just three months after he withdrew from the Masters to attend to his wife Audrey, who battled for her life in a Virginia Beach Hostpital. Diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome, Audrey was given no more than a five percent chance of living through the illness.

She still lacks energy but "she’s alive so can still hug the boys in the morning and that’s a great thing," Leishman said after his superb round.

"You take for granted that you’re going to go home from a tip and hug your wife and life’s going to go on. We’ll it’s not always like that," said Leishman. "We were just lucky to come out on the right side of it."

Leishman was not the only player lighting it up on Sunday. Rickie Fowler’s 66 shot him up to a T6 at 7-under, while Eddie Pepperell was 8-under through 17. Here's the early leaderboard with lots of birdies available out on the course. That 10-under leading number is going to move.

Place Player Score Thru
1 Dustin Johnson -10 10:00 AM
T2 Danny Willett -9 10:00 AM
T2 Marc Leishman -9 F
T4 Paul Lawrie -8 9:50 AM
T4 Eddie Pepperell -8 17
T6 Marc Warren -7 9:50 AM
T6 Zach Johnson -7 9:40 AM
T6 Adam Scott -7 9:40 AM
T6 Robert Streb -7 9:30 AM
T6 Jason Day -7 9:30 AM
T6 Rickie Fowler -7 F
T6 Anthony Wall -7 11
T6 Steven Bowditch -7 3
T6 Hideki Matsuyama -7 3
T6 Paul Dunne -7 1
T6 Louis Oosthuizen -7 1
T17 Jim Furyk -6 F
T17 Ashley Chesters -6 F
T17 Ryan Palmer -6 16
T17 Patrick Reed -6 16
T17 Gary Woodland -6 14
T17 Greg Chalmers -6 13
T17 Brooks Koepka -6 12
T17 Matt Jones -6 11
T17 Padraig Harrington -6 8
T17 Jordan Niebrugge -6 6
T17 Jordan Spieth -6 4
T17 Justin Rose -6 4
T17 Anirban Lahiri -6 3
T17 Retief Goosen -6 2
T31 David Duval -5 F
T31 Hunter Mahan -5 F
T31 Jason Dufner -5 F
T31 Ben Martin -5 F
T31 Marcus Fraser -5 F
T31 Andy Sullivan -5 F
T31 Kevin Na -5 15
T31 Cameron Tringale -5 13
T31 Stewart Cink -5 12
T31 Jimmy Walker -5 6
T31 Russell Henley -5 6
T31 Sergio Garcia -5 4
T31 Charl Schwartzel -5 4
T31 Geoff Ogilvy -5 3
T31 Luke Donald -5 2
T46 John Senden -4 F
T46 Graham DeLaet -4 F
T46 Rafael Cabrera Bello -4 F
T46 Harris English -4 F
T46 Ollie Schniederjans -4 15
T46 James Morrison -4 15
T46 Phil Mickelson -4 14
T46 Romain Langasque -4 12
T46 Branden Grace -4 9
T46 Martin Kaymer -4 8
T56 Lee Westwood -3 F
T56 Ernie Els -3 F
T56 Brendon Todd -3 F
T56 Thongchai Jaidee -3 F
T56 Brett Rumford -3 15
T56 David Lipsky -3 13
T56 Greg Owen -3 9
T56 David Lingmerth -3 9
T56 Webb Simpson -3 6
T65 Graeme McDowell -2 F
T65 Matt Kuchar -2 F
T65 Henrik Stenson -2 F
T65 Jamie Donaldson -2 F
T65 Richie Ramsay -2 17
T65 David Howell -2 12
T65 Paul Casey -2 8
T72 Billy Horschel -1 F
T72 Bernd Wiesberger -1 F
T72 Mark O'Meara -1 F
T75 Ross Fisher E F
T75 Thomas Aiken E F
T75 Francesco Molinari E F
T75 Ryan Fox E 13
T79 Scott Arnold 1 F
T79 Bernhard Langer 1 F


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