Date: January 28, 2014

Grant Report – Leishman, Day in hot early form

Marc Leishman and Jason Day have showcased bright early season form, the pair finishing in a share of second in the Torrey Pines US PGA tournament in California.

The duo finished just one behind American winner Scott Stallings, who fired a final round four-under-par 68 to finish at nine-under 279 and clinch his third career US tour title.

Leishman, and then Day, both took a piece of the lead as they challenged for the trophy but, while the Victorian had been in contention throughout most of the week, Day rocketed up the leaderboard with a final round 68.

Leishman shot a 71 as the Australians joined a five-way tie with South Korea’s K.J. Choi (66), Canadian Graham DeLaet (68) and American Pat Perez (70).

Leishman, in particular, showed his affinity for the coastal layout as he attempted to secure a second Tour victory.

Both Day and Leishman were attempting to celebrate Australia Day with a second career US PGA tour win.

"I’ve been playing pretty well all week. I love this golf course," said Leishman who was runner-up in 2011 and ninth in 2012.

"I think it’s all the grasses I grew up on as a kid, Kikuyu fairways, poa greens and there’s gum trees everywhere," he told AAP.

"It’s long and tough, I like it when par’s a good score. I always have a good feeling when I come here."

Day begun the final round with a messy three-putt bogey and then hit a wild drive left from the tee on the next.

But the Queenslander bounced back quickly with an impressive approach which led to a birdie. He was forced to settle for par at the third but holed a five metre putt at the fourth and picked up another birdie at the sixth to kick-start his charge.

Day birdied the 12th to be just one off the pace and two holes later found himself at the top of the leaderboard.

Stallings, though, refused to be intimidated and moved to nine under as Day’ approach at the 17th plugged in a greenside bunker and resulted in a bogey.

Day made a brave attempt at an eagle from 20 metres which narrowly missed, leaving him with another runner-up finish on the US tour.

Leishman started one shot off the pace and tied for the lead after he opened with a par and overnight leader Gary Woodland made bogey.

He continued to move back and forth. and five straight pars kept him on track before he found trouble in rough on the 12th and slipped one shot back. The two birdies he needed on the run home to force a play-off proved too much.

By: Robert Grant