By DENNIS PASSA
2014-07-21 03:42 AM
HOYLAKE, England (AP) -- At his fourth attempt, Marc Leishman can add the British Open to another major where he's had a top-five finish.
The Australian started the day 11 strokes behind eventual winner Rory McIlory and in 15th place, but shot a 7-under 65 Sunday, equaling the course record at Royal Liverpool, to finish in a tie for fifth with countryman Adam Scott.
Leishman tied for fourth at the 2013 Masters won by Scott and tied for 12th at the U.S. Open later the same year. But in three previous British Opens, he missed the cut twice and finished 60th.
On Sunday, he had four birdies in five holes on the front nine, then had three over his final four holes to finish five strokes behind McIlroy.
"This is a tournament I haven't done well at in the past, so to get something down here, especially today, is really special," Leishman said.
"I love links golf, but for some reason I haven't been able to play well. Today made it a good week."
Leishman has one PGA Tour victory -- at the 2012 Travelers Championship -- and made the Presidents Cup team for the International side in 2013 when it was played at Royal Melbourne in his home state of Victoria.
In six seasons on the tour, he has a strong record of top-10 finishes -- 17, including four this year.
The 30-year-old Leishman says a better mental approach and more experience playing majors will allow him to start translating those leading finishes into victories.
"I think experience is a big thing, and I'm hitting the ball better," Leishman said. "I'm maturing as a golfer and mentally I'm a lot better than I was. I just didn't let anything bother me and that's probably been the problem in the past."
Leishman was one of four golfers Sunday to shoot 65 -- American Jim Furyk, Shane Lowry of Ireland and Englishman Chris Wood were the others. Dustin Johnson also equaled the Royal Liverpool course mark in the second round Friday.
When the British Open was last held at the course in 2006, eventual winner Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Chris DiMarco and Sergio Garcia all shot 65s.