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Peter Uihlein has career-best 62, then has routine drug test

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The day began sleepily enough for Peter Uihlein: an early-morning, third-round tee time at the Wells Fargo Championship, nine strokes back of the leader and in a tie for 48th.

Uihlein didn't expect much Saturday, but then a 7-under-par stretch over six holes that included an eagle changed everything. Then two more birdies had him tied for the lead.

A little while later, he was signing his scorecard for a career-best 62 -- and then getting a tap on the shoulder from the PGA Tour's drug-testing personnel.

Uihlein, 28, was required to take a drug test, about which he did somewhat sheepishly see some humor.

"It's totally ironic,'' he said. "First low round of the year, I feel like, and I have to go piss in a cup.''

There was no conspiracy or belief that Uihlein performed beyond his capabilities. The PGA Tour conducts random tests throughout the year at dozens of tournaments. Uihlein said he has been tested previously and can be again at any time, though the tests almost always occur at tournament sites.

Uihlein ended the day tied for third, putting him in position to have a go at his first PGA Tour victory on Sunday.

A former star at Oklahoma State who won the 2010 U.S. Amateur, Uihlein turned pro in 2011 and spent the early part of his career competing on the European Tour. He won the Madeira Islands Open in 2013.

Playing in just a handful of PGA Tour events last year, Uihlein qualified for the season-ending Web.com Tour Finals, won the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship and earned his PGA Tour card for the first time.

In 11 starts, he has missed the cut five times, including his previous two before the Wells Fargo Championship. His best finish is a tie for 17th.

"Although my scores haven't showed it, I've been playing pretty good,'' he said. "It's a fine line, especially out here, between how it feels like 62 or 72, 73. First couple of days, I played all right. It just played really, really difficult, and I was totally OK shooting level par, 1 over.

"But with the conditions being softer today and moving today, I felt like I needed to get after it, and I was able to do that.''

Uihlein started with four pars, then finished the front nine with five consecutive birdies. His eagle at the par-5 10th gave him a stretch of 7-under-par in six holes and put him close to the lead. He added birdies at the 14th and 15th holes to get to 9 under and in a tie for the lead with second-round leader Peter Malnati, who had yet to tee off.

"You feel like you can't mess up,'' Uihlein said of his hot stretch. "Anything you can do, you don't feel like you can mess up. You almost try to get out of your own way and just play the course and keep the pedal down and keep playing aggressive.''