Former European Tour players Uihlein and Koepka set for mega MENA showdown

Ronan MacNamara

Peter Uihlein at the LIV Golf Invitational - Jeddah (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/LIV Golf via Getty Images)

Peter Uihlein will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the MENA Tour’s Jeddah Invitational after a blistering 63 took him to the top of this latest exhibition. 

The American is set to go head to head with former European Tour buddy Brooks Koepka. This is one of golf’s romantic stories as two players who progressed from the bottom rung of the ladder go toe to toe for approximately $4 million and zero world ranking points. 

Uihlein is on twelve-under while Koepka who has barely shown in interest in these exhibitions until this week is on eleven-under. 

Former major champions Charl Schwartzel and Sergio Garcia are both four adrift on nine-under. 

Dustin Johnson must be credited. Having already earned $12 million since leaving the PGA Tour he is now guaranteed $30 million after securing the season-long individual title, yet the hunger for competition has not left him. Rounds of 68 and 65 have him among the pack on seven-under and he can’t be ruled out of contention on Sunday while his descent down the world ranking is set to continue. 

Graeme McDowell loves the microphone and had a lot to say pre-tournament about the official world golf rankings not granting MENA Tour players their ranking points. However, on Saturday he did his talking on the golf course with a round of 65 to move to five-under. 

At the site of his last career win, the highlight of the day was a pitch in eagle on the par-5 4th hole. 

Smash GC continue to lead at the summit of the team leaderboard in the format nobody understands.  

Not only are Uihlein and Koepka pitting their wits against each other in the individual competition they are also teammates alongside Chase Koepka and Jason Kokrak. 

What a story this could be, if the two friends whose golf careers were forged in Europe, sleeping in bed and breakfasts on the Challenge Tour, earning European Tour cards, could win a team event on the MENA Tour.  

It’s funny how sport manages to throw up these feel good stories. 

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