Patrick Cantlay was in danger of losing his lead by two shots on one hole. With nothing less than the FedEx Cup and the $15 million prize, Patrick Ice, his reputation as “Patty Ice”, was at stake.
In his greatest moment Sunday at the Tour Championship, he was as clutch and composed as ever.
Cantlay putted a 6-foot bogey putt at the 17th hole, to keep one shot ahead Jon Rahm who was going to the East Lake par-5 18th. He then drove 361 yards down to the middle, his longest drive of this week. Rahm was already on the fairway.
The last shot was a 6-iron that ran 218 yards to 12 feet. It was the closest shot of any player all day. This helped secure the FedEx Cup victory and possibly the PGA Tour player award.
Cantlay stated, “It was my best shot all week.”
In a six-hole playoff at BMW Championship, Cantlay defeated Bryson deChambeau. He defeated the No. With his win over Rahm in Tour Championship, he became the No. 1 player in the World.
This nickname was only discovered last week and is now starting to stick.
Cantlay said, “It just means cool under stress to me,” and never changed his expression except for a big smile when birdie was tapped in. He also had a 1-under-69 and waved his cap at thousands of fans.
It seems to fit his game too.
Rahm couldn’t get enough putts that fell. He stayed close throughout the day and made a great shot into the 18th. It came in right beside the hole on its second bounce and rolled through to light rough just below the green.
Cantlay had expected Rahm to chip in for eagle, but Rahm missed the cut and shot 68. Cantlay won with a safe two-putt.
For the 29-year old Californian, who suffered a back injury three years ago that prevented him from playing for three more years and almost ended his career, the victory was worth $15M.
He is now a top-ranked golfer, thanks to the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Cantlay stated, “It is fantastic.” It’s a tremendous honor, because it lasts for a whole year. I was consistent throughout the year and found my fire at the end. It’s an incredible feeling of accomplishment considering the amount of work I have put in all my life.
Rahm, who was four shots behind Cantlay at the start of the tournament and finished the last day two back, didn’t catch Cantlay. He didn’t let him relax either.
Cantlay held a two-shot advantage with an approach of 6 feet for birdie on 17th hole. Then, it almost went down to the wire.
On the 17th, he drove to the right, cutting a tree, dropping into deep rough, then hitting a flyer above the green and gallery. He was unable to pitch back to green and ended up in deeper rough. To save bogey, he made a 6-footer and continued ahead.
This set up the last hole, where Cantlay could only make birdies.
Rahm stated, “I gave it all,” It wasn’t enough.
Rahm made no bogeys over the 28 remaining holes but only two birdies. At 14-under 266 Rahm tied Kevin Na for the low 72 hole score of the tournament. They will share points towards the world ranking.
Cantlay began at 10-under par and was the No. Cantlay finished as the No. 1 seed, and 21 under.
“Patrick played fantastic golf and was four shots ahead (at the beginning). Rahm stated that he was the better player throughout the week and earned the title. “That up-and down after missing from 17 is impressive, the second shot from 18 almost makes it even more impressive.
“I think you could say that he won this.”
Rahm was awarded the consolation prize of $5 million for placing second in the FedEx Cup. Na (67), took home $4 million. Justin Thomas (70), birdied the final hole to place fourth. This was worth $4 million.
Rahm stated that it was strange to feel the disappointment of not winning on a day when you’re making $5 million.
Cantlay opened the postseason by stating that he didn’t like the Tour Championship’s format. The staggered start was determined by a player’s FedEx Cup position. There was no official winner for the lowest score at Tour Championship.
Even though it was in his favor, he isn’t a fan. He could only play the hand that was dealt to him, and he did so flawlessly.
He won both the final two events in a satisfying manner. The six-hole playoff against DeChambeau was a thrilling affair. Rahm’s crucial moment came with the FedEx Cup at stake.
It’s why I play golf. He said, “I play golf to be in those moments with the best players in world.” It’s why I work so hard. Because it’s such a great platform for competition, it’s why I love the game. It makes it even more sweet knowing that the men I played against were some of the most talented players in the world.
Cantlay won the season’s fourth title — nobody else has won more than once. One of those wins was the Memorial. Rahm led by six shots after 54 holes, but had to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 result.
This makes Cantlay a frontrunner for PGA Tour player-of-the year. Rahm (U.S. Open title), No. 1 ranking) and Collin Morikawa, British Open, World Golf Championship title), are also likely to be on this ballot.
Rahm was awarded the Vardon Trophy for having the lowest average adjusted score.