Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau produced an epic battle at the BMW Championship, with Cantlay eventually securing victory with a birdie at the sixth playoff hole.
Patrick Cantlay Wins BMW Championship Epic
In a thrilling final day, Patrick Cantlay defeated Bryson DeChambeau at the sixth playoff hole to secure the BMW Championship and move himself to the top of the FedEx Cup standings.
The duo had been locked in a stalemate for all of the final round, with Cantlay producing a putting masterclass and DeChambeau a ball striking exhibition off the tee.
Eventually though, the battle finished at a mind boggling 27-under-par total, with a playoff going six holes before we eventually crowned our winner.
With a 15-foot birdie putt at the last finding the centre of the cup, DeChambeau would yet again miss a very makeable chance, handing victory to Cantlay and giving him a handy advantage heading into the Tour Championship at East Lake next week.
“I just tried to stay in my own little world. My game feels really good, it has for a while now since Memorial, and I’m finally starting to putt like me again,” said Cantlay.
“It’s so nice to be back with fans and they were so supportive all day and they’ve been supportive the last four days. It’s fun, it’s great to have them back and they were awesome today,” he added.
Starting the final round, it seemed inevitable that we were set for a two-horse race over the remaining 18 holes, with Cantlay and DeChambeau starting three clear of the pack.
In a contrast of styles, it was the big-hitting DeChambeau to tee off first, with his opening drive carrying a near 350 yards into the greenside bunker.
Cantlay on the other hand had been the more methodical golfer throughout the tournament, strategically plotting his way around the course. That was the case, until his poor tee shot at the first put him on the back foot.
But, in what would be a common theme, both would make birdie, lighting the touch paper on what was set to be an epic final round.
With the pair trading birdies, neither could be separated after the front nine, both producing three-under-par 33’s to sit three clear of nearest challenger, Sungjae Im.
That lead was soon extended, as the duo produced a three-under-par stretch over the next five holes to get to 27-under-par.
It was the par-5 16th where DeChambeau seemingly dealt a big pivotal blow. With Cantlay needing to hole a seven-footer for par, DeChambeau would roll in his birdie putt, applying huge pressure on his ice-cool opponent.
As had been the case throughout the day, Cantlay wouldn’t buckle, knocking in his par putt with ease as the pair moved to the treacherous par-3 17th.
That par save seemed to be in vain though, as Cantlay came up well short with his tee shot, finding the water and needing a miracle to keep himself in the competition.
A miracle is what he got, as his astonishing form on the greens continued, rattling in an excellent putt for bogey, DeChambeau paid the price for a poor pitch, dropping his first shot of the day.
Playing the last, DeChambeau seemed to have one hand on the trophy, with two cracking shots leaving him a 12-footer for the win. Not only was it less distance than Cantlay’s putt, but it was also on exactly the same line as his fellow countryman.
But Cantlay’s red hot form with the putter continued, rolling in his birdie putt, the pressure was all too much for DeChambeau as he pulled yet another birdie putt left of the target.
Heading back to the 18th tee, DeChambeau would play the hole in almost identical fashion although his putt for victory would shave the right edge of the hole. That left Cantlay to calmly knock in a six-foot putt to extend the playoff.
Once again we went up the 18th, with DeChambeau this time hitting his approach even closer. As Cantlay two-putted from 50-feet, his opponent, who missed a putt from similar range for a 59 in round two, pulled his birdie try left once again.
Pars followed at the par-3 17th, with DeChambeau’s frustration showing as he blocked his drive right into the water on the 18th.
With Cantlay safely on the green, DeChambeau refocused, striking his wedge shot to three-foot from the pin, securing an unlikely halve.
The fans were then treated to two stunning shots at the fifth playoff hole, the par-3 17th, as DeChambeau hit his wedge to five-feet and Cantlay even nearer at two-feet. Both would calmly roll in their putts as we moved onto yet another extra hole.
Finally, as the light faded, we had our winner, with Cantlay the furthest from the hole yet again, he would ram in his 15-foot birdie putt, with DeChambeau unable to follow him in from 10-foot.
Victory for Cantlay means he moves up to a career high fourth in the world rankings. Not only that, but next week he will start at 10-under-par, two shots ahead of Tony Finau, the man who Cantlay overtook to secure the final automatic Ryder Cup place for team USA.