ATLANTA – The system is one Patrick Cantlay he still doesn’t like it, one who saw him on Sunday earn $ 15 million as the seasonal champion of the PGA Tour despite failing to score the lowest score of 72 holes in the Tour Championship.
Cantlay followed the format and hit big shots when needed to refrain Jon Rahm and won the FedEx Cup title in East Lake, while also making a name for himself as a big player in recent weeks.
After shipment Bryson DeChambeau at the BMW six-hole playoff championship a week ago, Cantlay stayed in shape and led the Tour-adjusted tailored moves from the moment he was absent on Thursday to victory on Sunday.
And that led to a full circle of ten-year journey that saw him as a hot college player at UCLA and the country’s best-ranked amateur to a low point where a back injury couldn’t play golf for two years. Here he is, beating the best players in the game, and at the same time he found himself among them.
“The biggest thing is that it gave me a great perspective,” said 29-year-old Cantlay, who ranks fourth in the world. “For a long time I thought everything went great. Growing up, I felt like I was getting better at golf and life was getting better, and then it got as bad as it could have been. I felt as low as it could have been for a while.
“Coming out on the other side of it, I feel like I’m a better person who went through those dark days. But it gives me a great perspective and makes me very grateful to be in the position I’m in because it wasn’t I wasn’t always sure .I was close to going back to school and leaving golf behind.
“And that’s why I’m very grateful to be where I am and I’m so pleased with the effort that pays off.”
The Cantlay tournament seems to have been secured when he killed the 16th hole and took two goals over Rahma. He then almost brought it all back with access via green on the 17th, a chip that came to a short hit, and then a test 5 feet for the bogey to maintain a one-shot advantage.
And when Rahm threw his second shot on the green at par-5 18th, setting up an opportunity for the Eagle, Cantlay followed — hitting a 361-yard run — with 6 irons to 11 feet. That set the bird up with two goals and a win in one shot.
That meant a $ 15 million payout from the FedEx Cup bonus fund, and Rahm received $ 5 million.
“I felt like a big win and it was,” Cantlay said. “I played great [Sunday]. I told myself to focus and conclude and I did a great job today. ”
Cantlay had no choice if he left East Lake with the title. Rahm represented a terrifying presence as he played the final three rounds with Cantaly, doing his best to overcome a four-shot deficit earlier in the week, which was part of the FedEx Cup’s unique formula, where players began scoring their position in the race. for points.
The current US Open champion shot 68 without a bomber on Sunday, but he simply could not get enough pigeons to fall to ever equalize the score. And when it looked like things could turn to par-4 17, Cantlay delivered again.
“Patrick played great golf and had four shots ahead of me (at the start of the tournament). Although I may have been a better man this week, he deserved it,” Rahm said. “He played amazing. That up and down after the disappearance [the first chip on] 17, the second shot from 18 to almost is even more impressive.
“I think it can be said that he won this. He played amazing golf.”
Rahm still had a good salary, so he left with 5 million dollars.
“It was really weird to feel disappointed that you didn’t win on the day you make $ 5 million,” Rahm said.
Both Cantlay and Rahm pointed to shortcomings in the FedEx system. Both have made their feelings clear about her shortcomings. Still, they were the ones who staged the drama, because no one else could get close.
Rahm didn’t know then that he had equalized Kevin Na for the lowest number of 72 holes, shooting 14 under par. Xander Schauffele was next at 12 below, and Cantlay was tied at 11 below, along with Victor Howland i Justin thomas.
“I think this format is less confusing. But I don’t think it’s a good format,” Rahm said. “I don’t like the fact that we don’t have a Tour Champion anymore. So I don’t like the fact that no one knows, when they look at the scoreboard, who fired the smallest round this week.”
However, all the players knew the rules coming in and Cantlay was able to protect his two-shot advantage starting all week. It’s a different kind of pressure, which he said was hard to handle.
The last three rounds, in particular, have been intense as Cantlay and Rahm put on an impressive show, which would be fun if repeated in three weeks at the Ryder Cup, where Cantlay suddenly looks like America’s best player and Rahm will undoubtedly be among those are the most important in Europe.
It was the fourth win of the season for Cantlay, who won the Zozo Championship in October, the Memorial Tournament in June, the BMW and the Tour Championship.
In Zoz, Cantlay kept Thomas and Rahm. He beat Collin Morikawa in the playoffs at Memorial — after Rahm retired due to a positive test at COVID-19 when he led with six shots after 54 holes. Last week at BMW, Cantlay was constantly performing punches to stay alive, finally winning with a birdie to send DeChambeau to the sixth extra hole.
“I wouldn’t necessarily call him underrated, but I could call him underrated,” he said Stewart Zinc. “Patrick just doesn’t have anything that stands out, but what makes him such a great player is that he doesn’t even have something that is a weakness.
“He’s quite long. He hits a lot of fairways. He has a massive short game. He’s solid under arms and he’s great at throwing. I mean, I know golf pretty well. Tell me if I’m missing something. He’s just the whole package.”