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Golf

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Marc Leishman primed for PGA play-offs run

Marc Leishman is excited by the luxury of playing with freedom as he heads a six-strong Australian contingent entering the US PGA Tour's $US78 million FedEx Cup play-offs series this week.

The regular season concluded on Sunday, with the top 125 players advancing to the playoffs, having also secured full cards for next season.

The play-offs have been reduced from four events to three this year and Leishman will begin the Northern Trust Open on Thursday in 12th place in the points race.

He'll be joined at Liberty National in New Jersey by countrymen Adam Scott (21st), Jason Day (40th), Cameron Smith (79th), Aaron Baddeley (112th) and Matt Jones (115th).

Australian youngsters Cameron Davis (160th) and Curtis Luck (175th) were relegated to the secondary tour's finals, where they can win their PGA Tour cards back by finishing in the top 25 on its money list.

After the Northern Trust, the top 70 in FedEx points advance to the BMW Championship at Medinah in Chicago where only the top 30 qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

Leishman is already assured of advancing to the Tour Championship and expects that safety net to have a positive effect on his game.

"You want to be at the Tour Championship every year; it guarantees you starts in all four major championships next year and it means you have played well all year," Leishman told AAP on Sunday.

"I can definitely play with more freedom now and hopefully that should yield some good finishes; maybe even a win."

Former world No.1 Day - usually a big contender in the playoffs but winless this year - will start with his worst FedEx ranking in two years.

Day, Smith, Baddeley and Jones, have their work cut out to climb inside the top 30.

The first two playoff events each boasts a $US9.25 million purse, while players are also vying for their share of a FedEx Cup bonus pool of $US60 million - including $US15 million awarded to the winner.

AUSTRALIANS' FEDEX CUP POSITIONS AFTER THE US PGA TOUR REGULAR SEASON

12 Marc Leishman

21 Adam Scott

40 Jason Day

79 Cameron Smith

112 Aaron Baddeley

115 Matt Jones

160 Cameron Davis

175 Curtis Luck

221 Rod Pampling

229 John Senden

235 Stuart Appleby

248 Robert Allenby

--End of article--

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