Patrick Cantlay Claims Second Memorial Victory

Patrick Cantlay Claims Second Memorial Victory

Patrick Cantlay Memorial
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Patrick Cantlay defeated fellow countryman Collin Morikawa at the first playoff hole to claim his fourth PGA Tour title and second Memorial Tournament.

Patrick Cantlay Claims Second Memorial Victory

After the drama of Jon Rahm's withdrawal due to a positive Covid test on Saturday afternoon (opens in new tab), both Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay found themselves tied for the lead going into the final round.

Moving from a six-shot deficit to a three-shot advantage, the duo would struggle though, with several mistakes leading to Scottie Scheffler (opens in new tab) joining a three-way battle at Jack's Place.

But it would be Cantlay who would rise above his fellow countrymen, producing a par at the first playoff hole to secure his second Memorial title.

"I thought I did a good job of staying focused and it really felt like a battle between Collin and I all day and that's just kind of how it played out.

"I know Scottie made a few birdies early and he was up there, but with Collin right there in the same group it just felt like it was me and him trading blows all day."

Patrick Cantlay Memorial

Cantlay receives the trophy from Jack Nicklaus at the 2019 Memorial Tournament. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)

Coming into the event, Muirfield Village had undergone a bit of a facelift, with changes being made to 16 of the 18 holes.

One of the most noticeable changes that Jack Nicklaus has made was at the very first hole, seeing the green being pushed back by 30 yards.

Starting the final round, both Morikawa (opens in new tab) and Cantlay would bogey the par-4 opener, with their lead being cut down to just two shots.

"That first hole is now a pretty big kick in the teeth just to start the day. 490 and you can't really hit driver off the tee. But it was in as good a shape as ever and a lot of the golf course is still the same old golf course so it's still a place I feel very comfortable." Cantlay said.

As the front nine progressed, the pair would trade blows of questionable consistency, with Morikawa at one point whiffing a chip shot at the par-4 6th.

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With the pair still not separated through 14 holes, Morikawa delivered an eight-foot blow at the par-5 15th, moving into a one-shot lead as he looked to secure a second victory at Muirfield Village.

But Cantlay (opens in new tab) is one of the sport's most resilient characters, and a 30-foot birdie putt at the 17th soon heaved all the pressure back onto Morikawa. Once again, he would respond, holing a classy par putt to keep the scores level.

As the round concluded with closing pars, Morikawa would take the advantage in the playoff, finding the centre of the fairway, with Cantlay blocking his drive right.

With both approaches coming up short, the former Memorial champion would get up-and-down to from the sand to once again apply the pressure.

Patrick Cantlay Memorial

Cantlay shakes hands with Morikawa after defeating him in the first playoff hole to win the The Memorial Tournament. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Needing to hole a mid-range par putt to force a second playoff hole, Morikawa would pull his putt left, handing the title to Cantlay.

"It's always special coming off the 18th green and shaking his hand (Jack Nicklaus). We have a great connection and we are, I would say, good friends at this point, and so that makes it just a little more special.

"He's taken me under his wing and to do it at his place with the advice and encouragement that he's given me over the years is very special for me.

The victory now moves the American to the top of the FedEx Cup standings and almost a certainty for the Steve Stricker's Ryder Cup side in September.

Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.