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Shriners notes: Early starters fall short after final-round 62s

A pair of early starters rocketed up the leaderboard Sunday and grabbed the attention of the leaders during the final round of the Shriners Children’s Open.

Eric Cole and Ludvig Aberg shot 9-under 62s to put themselves in the thick of things, but ultimately fell a little short of a title.

Cole, who finished in a tie for third at 18 under, flirted with the TPC Summerlin course record of 60, reaching 8 under through 14 holes with the two easiest holes ahead of him. But after pars on 15 and 16, the record — and his chance to win — slipped away.

“It would have been nice, but I wasn’t really near the lead or anything starting the day,” said Cole, the front-runner for PGA Tour rookie of the year. “So to be in a position later in the day where I felt like if I had a really crazy finish, I would have had a chance to win was something, I would have been happy with this morning.”

Aberg, who finished at 16 under, shot his career low with the 62, not surprising given that he was playing college golf at Texas Tech just five months ago. Since then, he’s won on the DP World Tour, played in the Ryder Cup, lost in a five-man playoff in Mississippi a week ago and put himself in the hunt again this week.

It’s been quite a draining stretch.

“It’s been unbelievable. I’ve had the time of my life,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to change it for anything, but I am a little bit tired.”

What might have been

One hole on a Saturday afternoon doesn’t seem like it should hold much significance, but the final results Sunday could have been much different for J.T. Poston and Cameron Champ, who each made an ugly triple bogey during the third round.

Poston, who finished in a tie for third at 18 under, put two balls in the water on No. 16, the second easiest hole on the course, and walked away with an 8.

Champ, the second-round co-leader, made his triple on the third hole when his second shot sailed into the native area right of the green and it took five shots from there to get up and down. He never recovered and shot 74, dropping from first to 28th by day’s end. Champ was 18 under over his other three rounds, including a 65 on Sunday.

Another PGA Tour date

Las Vegas resident and Monday qualifier Isaiah Salinda held his own Sunday, shooting 67 to finish at 17 under and a tie for seventh, earning him a spot in the World Wide Technology Championship in three weeks.

Players who finish in the top 10 in a PGA Tour event earn a spot in the next noninvitational tournament, giving Salinda the opening in Mexico.

“I just heard that in the scoring trailer. It’s obviously great news. Looking forward to that,” the 26-year-old Korn Ferry Tour player said.

Salinda played solid the first two days, then rocketed up the leaderboard Saturday with a 63 that put him in the thick of things.

“Thursday and Friday was such a grind, and I was just trying to kind of check off the first goal of just playing the weekend and then kind of reassessing from there,” he said. “I tried not to think of the result too much, just tried to stay in the moment and enjoy the environment out there.”

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. Reach him at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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