Spurred on by his inspirational wife, Marc Leishman has climbed into contention after the second round of the US PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament in Ohio.
But the news was not as good for fellow Australian, world No.8 Jason Day, who bogeyed his final hole to miss the cut, leaving his down on form heading into the US Open in two weeks.
Leishman fired a tidy five-under-67 on Friday to back up his opening day 69 at Muirfield Village – the first time in seven attempts at Jack Nicklaus’ tournament he has posted two rounds in the 60s – moving him to eight-under overall and just four back of the lead in a tie for 11th.
Swede David Lingmerth shot 65 to jet out to 12-under, 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.
England’s Andy Sullivan (64) and American Ryan Moore (67) hold third at 10-under.
Audrey Leishman, who just months ago was given a less than five per cent chance to live after suffering from toxic shock syndrome, had walked nine holes during the first round, and while she couldn’t back it up in round two, her husband was inspired.
“It’s so good to see her somewhat healthy again, and the nine holes is a big step and inspiring for sure,” Leishman said.
“She managed just two holes at the Players Championship and needed a cart ride back but over the last month she’s made huge strides and it is great to see.
“She was really tired afterwards but hopefully she can try a few holes tomorrow and I can keep playing well.”
The key for the 31-year-old’s second round was undoubtedly accuracy from the tee as he split 13 of the 14 fairways in the round.
Starting on the back nine he 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 have him well poised.
“I played pretty good today and finished strong to ensure some momentum heading into the weekend,” he said.
“It’s a lot easier game when you’re playing from the fairways, especially with these greens so hopefully I can keep doing what I am doing.”
Matt Jones (68) is the next best Australian at five-under while last-start winner Steven Bowditch (71) sits at four under.
Greg Chalmers (73) and John Senden (71) were two shots further back at two-under.
Day missed a six-foot par putt on the 18th green to shoot his second straight 72, joining Cameron Smith (+5) out of the tournament.
Five-time event winner Tiger Woods put up a 70, making a five-footer on the last, to make the cut at one-under.