Golf-Leishman fends off Rose challenge to win BMW Championship


Sept 17 (Reuters) - Marc Leishman staved off a challenge from Justin Rose to win the BMW Championship by five strokes outside Chicago on Sunday.

Leishman began the final round with a five-shot lead, and was seven strokes in front of Englishman Rose, who twice cut the margin to two shots on the back nine.

But Leishman would not be denied, the Australian riding a hot putter to birdie the 15th and 16th holes and put the tournament out of reach at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Illinois.

A birdie at the last enabled him to card 67 and finish at 23-under-par 261 for his third victory on the PGA Tour, at the age of 33.

American Rickie Fowler rallied late to shoot 67 and tie Rose (65) for second place on 18-under.

Leishman jumps to fourth spot in the tour standings heading into the season-ending Tour Championship starting at East Lake in Atlanta on Thursday, where 30 players will vie for the FedExCup championship and a $10 million bonus awarded to the winner of the season-long points competition.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Gene Cherry)

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