Peter Uihlein dazzled during the Korn Ferry Tour’s MGM Resorts Championship at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, figuring out the wind and Pete Dye’s Sun Mountain course, en route to the victory and a return to the PGA Tour. –By Brian Hurlburt, Las Vegas Golf Insider.
— Korn Ferry Tour (@KornFerryTour) April 19, 2021
Uihlein survived a windy final round and challenging conditions throughout the week. On Sunday, he was three-under par through four holes and four-under par after 7 and finished with a solid 69 and four shots clear of Jamie Lovemark and Las Vegas’ David Lipsky.
— Vegas Golf Insider ⛳️-Brian Hurlburt (@LVGolfInsider) April 19, 2021
“Very difficult, the wind was relentless,” said Uihlein. “But I got off to a dream start …To get off to that good of a start on the front nine, and I would say the first six are probably the more challenging holes out here, so getting off to a good start was big for me. I couldn’t cruise because it was still really difficult, but I was able to be more conservative.”
On full display was the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort’s Sun Mountain course, one of three Pete Dye signature layouts at the facility. During the week, both Snow Mountain and the Wolf at the resort remained open–and busy–while the best of the Korn Ferry Tour competed on Sun Mountain. The course and facility earned high praise from all involved, and Paiute resort leadership and tribe members were pleased to host the high-level event. During the trophy presentation, bdGlobal CEO Brooks Downing said the event wouldn’t have been possible without the terrific support of the Paiute resort and lauded the staff and tournament conditions. The event was a late addition to the Korn Ferry Tour schedule after the cancellation of an event in the Bahamas and wasn’t officially announced until just about five months prior to tournament week.
“Now that the dust has settled, what a week”” the Paiute resort said in a statement. “What an honor it was to host this year’s Korn Ferry Tour MGM Resorts Championship. It was a privilege to showcase one of our courses to a broader audience. Thank you to our amazing maintenance crew, who really had the course in phenomenal shape. To our staff and volunteers, thank you for all of the work you put in. Finally, thank you to the Korn Ferry and PGA Tour, bdGlobal Sports, MGM Resorts and all of the sponsors who supported the event and made it a success.”
Sun Mountain–with an assist from the wind–held its own during the event. The final-round scoring statistics were:
- Toughest Hole – Par-4 12th (4.397)
- Easiest Hole – Par-5 16th (4.205)
- Scoring Average (Front 9) – 36.329
- Scoring Average (Back 9) – 36.438
- Scoring Average (Total) – 72.767
- Scoring Average (Cumulative) – 72.168
For Uihlein, who has bounced back and forth between the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour, the win and $108,000 first-place check meant plenty, and establishes additional PGA Tour status for this season. It was his first win since 2017 and he could feel good vibes coming from his performances this season. He also moved into 23rd on the Korn Ferry Tour season points standings.
“I hadn’t played that well over the last couple of years, but since I restarted at Pebble, I’ve been playing a lot better and trending in the right direction,” Uihlein said. ” … “I’ve been trying to get a lot shallower. That’s been first and foremost, whether it’s been setup, ball position, anything. It’s been a process…I did some little things in the offseason, installed a simulator in my house, and now if I’m home and want to hit balls at 9 at night or 7 in the morning, I can keep the minor things in check.”
For Vegas’ Lipsky, his finish pretty much secures his official PGA Tour status for the 2021-22 season. He finished runner up at the previous Korn Ferry Tour stop and now sits fourth on the points list. On Sunday, be moved from 23rd to second with the 65, the round of the day. Following his win, he grabbed a Gatorade and Cane’s chicken, and headed out to watch friend Alex Kang finish up. Also in the gallery was Kang’s sister, LPGA Tour major champion Danielle. Kang finished 28th after a disappointing 76 on Sunday.
Las Vegas resident Harry Hall, a former UNLV golf star, shot 79 on Sunday after being near the top 10 for the first three rounds. He dropped 39 spots to 51st. He made an eight on the par 4, 15th hole during the final round.
There is no official word yet if the event will return to Las Vegas in 2022, but it does remain a possibility.