Patrick Cantlay falls just shy of 59, settles for share of Shriners Childrens Open lead with Tom Kim

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LAS VEGAS — Patrick CantlayHe was just one putt away from a 59 on Saturday. Instead of matching his low score on PGA Tour for a share in the lead with 20 year-old, he instead tied his low score on the PGA Tour. Tom KimThe final round of Shriners Childrens Open.

If the third round was any indication it seems that anything can happen on the TPC Summerlin high up above the Las Vegas Strip.

Cantlay opened with five birdies, then he poured it on down the stretch with five more in a six-hole stretch. He was on the cusp for his first sub-60 round.

He had a birdie par putt from just outside 25 feet that broke to the right. Cantlay played the putt a little too high.

It was his first 60-hour tour as a professional — his other 60-hours were at the 2011 Travelers ChampionshipAfter Cantlays freshman year at UCLA, he was an amateur 19-year-old.

Cantlay never shot 59, even at Virginia Country Club in Long Beach. When asked about the stress of his last putt, he smiled.

He said, I would like to have made it,

Then his thoughts turned towards the final round, which was a great success. Kim is a rising star, having won Wyndham Championship and delivering big moments at the Presidents Cup.

He birdied five out of his last six holes, and put a wedge to two feet on the 18th for a score of 62.

They were three shots ahead of a Mito Pereira(67) Matthew NeSmith(63), with the current champion Sungjae Im(63) Another shot behind.

Cantlay knows what it means to have a good performance in Las Vegas.

In 2017, he won his first PGA Tour playoff victory at the TPC Summerlin. He was twice a runner up in Las Vegas. His worst result was a tie-for-eight in 2020 when he shared the 54-hole lead.

Cantlay stated, I think I drive in the fairway a lot, and I dont fear hitting driver on most holes, so I have lots of wedge into greens and a lot to look, If I putter a lot, I can shoot low scores.

He has been doing this all week. On Saturday, he hit it closer and made most mid-range putts that he had been missing. Cantlay was able to score birdies on all holes. The birdie chance at 59 on the 18th hole was his second longest putt of round.

But Cantlay also knows Las Vegas and his work does not end there.

He said, No lead is safe around there.

Pereira started the day as the leader, shot 67 and finished three shots behind. Kim was unbogey-free but needed a big run towards the end to keep up her pace.

Kim stated, We haven’t run away with the thing. I have to play well tomorrow. Im sure that many guys think like that.

On a perfect day for scoring, there were nine scores of 64 and higher. The course average on Saturday was 67.9. Cantlay was perhaps another example of low scoring. His group, NeSmith and S.H. Kim played so well, that Cantlay never got to hit the first putt from a teebox on the back nine.

NeSmith had a score of 63, while S.H. Kim had a 64.

Cantlay won this year twice already — one with Xander SchauffeleIn the New Orleans team event — and a victory Sunday would propel him to No. 2 in the entire world.

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