Uihlein chases destiny amongst winners at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
November 03, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Uihlein & DeChambeau at No. 1, Lucky ace No. 2, Day's have baby No. 3
LAS VEGAS – It wasn’t supposed to take this long for Peter Uihlein to hold his first 54-hole lead on the PGA TOUR.
Heck, it wasn’t supposed to take this long for him to be a regular on the PGA TOUR.
But for the third straight day he finds himself in at least a share of the lead at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open chasing a win that many had expected would come earlier.
Uihlein is a former world No. 1 amateur who grew up in and around the game of golf with his father Wally being the CEO of the Acushnet Company (comprises Titleist, Footjoy, Pinnacle and Scotty Cameron brands).
He won the U.S. Amateur in 2010 and the predictions of a long and storied successful TOUR career came thick and fast.
But it didn’t pan out that way and some eight years later the now 29-year-old sleeps on the brink of his big moment.
Instead of earning his way on the PGA TOUR as a youngster, Uihlein battled first through Europe’s secondary Challenge Tour before moving on to the European Tour.
A win at the 2013 Madeira Islands Open secured a place there but he always envisaged a crack at his home TOUR.
It wasn’t until a handful of starts in the 2016-17 season earned him enough non-member points to play the Web.com Tour Finals that his chance would be realized.
Uihlein won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and graduated.
Last season he finished 64th in the FedExCup with three fifth-place finishes being his best efforts.
Now he has his best look at a win but he must do so while surrounded by players who have already tasted PGA TOUR success and as such may face less nerves on Sunday.
“This is all a step in the right direction of where I want to get to. If I want to become a top player in the world, win tournaments, this is what you got to do,” Uihlein said.
“You have got to get yourself in contention in the final group on Sunday. I’m looking forward to it and should be a lot of the fun.”
Tied with Uihlein at the top is Bryson DeChambeau who is already a four-time winner including three wins in 2018.
DeChambeau backed up his win at the Memorial Tournament with victory in the opening two FedExCup Playoffs events.
As such he has huge confidence he can make it career win No. 5 at TPC Summerlin.
“Knowing that if I can just stay in it and keep executing great shots every single time, I’m going to be tough to beat. That's just the way it is,” DeChambeau said.
“I'm striking it really well right now, and I think people know it.
Next in line is Lucas Glover, starting one back. His resume has three wins on it, one of which is the 2009 U.S. Open.
While he hasn’t won on TOUR since the Wells Fargo Championship in 2011, Glover was third at TPC Summerlin just two years ago having held the 54-hole lead.
“I like it here. You got to drive it pretty good and you got to hit your numbers,” Glover said.
“If I'm striking my irons well I tend to do that. Par-5s are all draw tee shots if you choose, and that's good for me. Just one of those courses that feel good when I drive up every day, so it's good.”
Tied in fourth place and just two back are defending champion Patrick Cantlay and Robert Streb.
Cantlay is buoyed by his efforts 12 months ago while Streb won The RSM Classic in 2015 and as such also holds experience to pull from.
“It's great to be around a place that you have good memories from. I think that's a big thing out here,” Cantlay said.
“Also knowing where to hit it, where to miss it, and where your ball is going to be no matter what shot you hit. That's important. And I feel comfortable around here. Looking forward to tomorrow.”
Rounding out the top six on the leaderboard is Cameron Champ. Last week’s winner at the Sanderson Farms Championship is just three off the pace.
That experience, where he lost a four-shot cushion before storming home to win by as many, has him primed for the chase.
“To be able to do what I did down the stretch … just the experience alone for me will help,” Champ said.
“It was the first time in that situation for me, and the same thing this week (trying to back up a win).
“I’m trying to just blur everything out and just focus on this event. Feel like I've done that well the first three days, and tomorrow just go for it.”
One thing is clear given the talent up top. If Uihlein does prevail he certainly will have earned it.
Peter Uihlein comments after Round 3 at Shriners