Marc Leishman has forced his way into the mix early in the second round of the US PGA Memorial Tournament with an impressive five-under 67 moving him inside the top 10 at Muirfield Village.
Leishman backed up his opening-day 69 with an even better effort, the first time in seven attempts at Jack Nicklaus’ tournament the Victorian has posted two rounds in the 60s, moving him to eight under and just four back from the lead.
Swede David Lingmerth shot 65 to jet out to 12 under for the week, sitting one shot clear of former PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner.
Dufner produced a roller-coaster 67, which included back-to-back eagles, one of them an ace on the 16th hole, four birdies, a bogey and a double bogey.
Defending champion and overnight co-leader Hideki Matsuyama backed up his opening-round 64 with a 71 to be third at nine under with veteran American Jim Furyk (66) and England’s Andy Sullivan (16 holes).
Leishman started on the back nine and was solid but not spectacular with three birdies and a bogey through 11 holes before he mounted a late charge.
Three straight birdies from the fifth hole and important par saves on his final two holes left him tied sixth as the morning wave finished up.
“I played pretty good today and finished strong to ensure some momentum heading into the weekend,” Leishman said.
“I was going okay at five under but to be able to get on a run and get to eight really obviously helps. I am looking forward to the challenge of the next two days.”
Last-start winner Steven Bowditch shot 71 to move to four under to be the next best Australian.
Greg Chalmers (-2), Matt Jones (-1), John Senden (E), Jason Day (+1) and Cameron Smith (+2) are all just starting out in the afternoon wave.
Five-time event champion Tiger Woods is also out in the afternoon, starting birdie birdie to be one under and on the projected cut line.