Jason Day hit an eagle, then an ace, in consecutive holes to surge up the leaderboard. (AP: Nam Y Huh)
Jason Day has produced a stunning hole-in-one to surge to second spot midway through the second round of the BMW Championship, but even that was not enough to haul in compatriot Marc Leishman.
World number nine Day aced the 189-yard par-three 17th at Conway Farms in Chicago en route to a 6-under-par 65.
Day’s 13-under total leaves him with a share of second place alongside world number 10 Rickie Fowler (64).
But out in front is fellow Australian Leishman, who hit a clean front nine featuring four birdies, before adding another four birdies and dropping just the one shot on the 17th.
On the seventh hole, Leishman chipped in beautifully before rolling the ball in on the long green for a birdie, before repeating the trick, putting in from beyond the fringe on the eighth.
PGA Tour tweets The Aussies are holing out from everywhere! @marcleish gets to -11. #QuickHits
Leishman’s 64 sees him lead by three shots at 16-under overall, ahead of Day and Fowler.
For Day — who won the event by six shots in 2015 — his hole-in-one came moments after he produced a chip-in eagle at the par-5 14th.
“My last hole-in-one was at Turning Stone (Resort Championship) in 2008, so I’ve had a bit of a dry spell,” Day said after his round.
Because of Day’s ace at the 17th, the tournament sponsor will donate $US100,000 to the Evans Scholar foundation which provides college scholarships to caddies.
Day went a step further and donated the BMW M760i he won for his hole-in-one to the foundation.
Starting the day two back of Leishman, Day bounced back from a sloppy start featuring two bogeys with three birdies in his last four holes on the front side, before picking up an additional three shots on the inward half.
Marc Leishman looked unstoppable in a second round in which he dropped just one shot. (AP: Nam Y Huh)
Day’s sensational form on the greens is more impressive given he has hit just seven of 14 fairways and 10 of 17 greens in regulation.
Rounding out the Australian contingent is Brisbane native Cameron Smith, who has bagged three birdies to move to 8-under for the tournament in a tie for seventh spot.
The BMW Championship is the penultimate event of the PGA Tour’s $US67 million FedEx Cup series and will determine the all-important top-five seedings for next week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta.
The top-five seeds are guaranteed to win the $10 million FedEx bonus prize should they claim the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club.