LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tied for the lead going into the weekend, Patrick Cantlay already was four shots behind before he hit his opening tee shot Saturday in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
That didn’t bother him in the least. He knows what to expect at the TPC Summerlin.
A tee shot so far left on the 10th hole that he had to hit a provisional? That made him a little anxious, but only until he found his original, hit wedge to 4 feet for birdie and began his climb back to where he started.
When the third round ended, Cantlay and Martin Laird each had a 6-under 65 without making it look terribly special and were tied for the lead. Both got their first PGA Tour victory at this tournament. Both have lost in a playoff. Both have played it enough times to realize birdie opportunities are there for everyone.
U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau was among the exceptions.
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He had a pair of double bogeys and back-to-back bogeys, all before he reached the seventh hole. At that point he was 5 over in a five-hole stretch, which he said felt more like 12 over on a course like the TPC Sumerlin. He rallied enough for a 71, though he was seven shots behind and had 30 players in front of him.
“Yeah, it was really weird,” he said. “I don’t know. It’s golf, right?”
Those 30 players ahead of him starts with Cantlay and Laird at 20-under 193.
“I’m sure by the time I get to the golf course the lead will already be more than 20 under, which is what it’s going to be around here,” Cantlay said. “I think my strategy out here is to stay patient because I know there are so many birdie opportunities instead of pressing or feeling like I’m trailing, and realize that they’re out there if I hit good shots.”
Laird had one exciting moment when he holed a 50-foot eagle putt on No. 9. Otherwise, it was attacking flags when he could and playing for the fat of the green with it was too risky. Some wind late in the day made it a little tougher, but the scoring average still was 67.5.
“I have had good rounds every day, so I’m not going to change anything,” Laird said. “It’s been working and I’m in a good spot, so just keep going.”
Matthew Wolff got it started early. After making the cut with one shot to spare, Wolff had three eagles in a five-hole stretch and had to settle for pars on his final two holes for a 61.
Making three eagles at Summerlin is not unusual with a few short par 4s and all the par 5s easily reachable. Wolff, however, holed out on No. 11 from 116 yards. He drove the green on the 301-yard 15th hole to 15 feet and holed an 18-foot eagle putt on the par-5 13th.
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