Day made a hole-in-one at the par-three 17th and Fowler carded a pair of eagles to stay in contention on 13 under. If the hole-in-one was lucky, the eagle was inch-perfect execution. BMW awarded $100,000 to the Evans Scholars Foundation, and then Day chose to give the vehicle he won to the Evans Scholars, which will yield another full, four-year scholarship for another student.
The BMW Championship brings back memories for Leishman, who was paired with golf icon and 14-time major victor Tiger Woods at the tournament in 2009 and it something he remembers fondly as he looks to add a third PGA Tour title to his name.
"(I'm) Very pleased with how the last two days went.
His compatriot Jason Day, the 2015 champion, was nursing a stiff back but carded a 64 that was matched by Americans Charley Hoffman and Jamie Lovemark, while Jordan Spieth was among a group who shot 65s.
After his only bogey of the day at the par-three 17th, Leishman birdied the par-five 18th at Conway Farms to complete 36 holes at 16-under par 126. "That's why earlier I said I'm going to donate that vehicle back to help another student because I am in a fortunate position and being able to not only impact one person but be able to impact another person's life, to be able to get them to go through college as well is huge".
"Priorities change as the years go on", Day said.
America's Patrick Cantlay is in fourth position at 10-under par after a 65, while Francesco Molinari (65) of Italy lies a shot further back at nine-under. He finished bogey-bogey by taking two chips to get on the 17th green and hitting into the water on the 18th.
The Northern Irishman, who entered the tournament at his lowest world ranking - sixth - for more than three years having missed the cut at the Dell Technologies Championship, needed a good performance this week in order to reach the top 30 qualifying places for next week's season final Tour Championship in Atlanta.
His 69 took him to 7-under 135, in a tie for 12th.
It's easy to overlook Leishman because the Australian has only two PGA Tour victories, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year.
Johnson won the first playoff event; Thomas, the second.
Leishman came into the BMW Championship ranked seventh in the FedEx Cup standings after finishing third at the Dell Technologies Championship.
Phil Mickelson is trying to find his way into the top 30.