Patrick Cantlay wins Shriners Open

The American beat Alex Cejka and Whee Kim in a sudden-death playoff

Patrick Cantlay wins Shriners
Patrick Cantlay wins Shriners
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Patrick Cantlay of the USA came through a playoff against Germany’s Alex Cejka and Whee Kim of South Korea to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin.

25-year-old Patrick Cantlay won his first PGA Tour event in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. He defeated Alex Cejka and Whee Kim at the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.

Germany’s Alex Cejka set an early target at TPC Summerlin. The Tour veteran carded a superb final round of 63 to get into the clubhouse on nine-under-par. The 46-year-old had to wait more than two hours to see if that total would be enough for the victory or a playoff.

It looked unlikely but as the wind picked up, the leaders began to drop shots. Whee Kim bogeyed the final hole to drop back to nine-under and Patrick Cantlay had bogeys on the 17th and 18th holes to also fall back to nine-under.

Chesson Hadley needed a par at the last to match the 72-hole total of the trio at the top of the board but he bogeyed the testing final hole to finish one back in a tie with Patton Kizzire and JT Poston.

A playoff was required to decide the tournament and Cantlay, Cejka and Kim returned to the tee of the difficult 18th to fight for the win over extra holes. On the first extra time down 18, all three men had bogey. On the second extra playing of the hole, Kim stumbled to double, Cejka couldn’t make par while Cantlay managed to get up and-down from off the back of the green for a four and the victory.

3 Talking points from the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

1 – This was a great victory for Cantlay who has struggled through much of his early PGA Tour career with back injury. He began this season ranked outside the top 1,500 on the Official World Golf Ranking. He is now into the top-50 and has a two-year-exemption on the PGA Tour. "I knew that I'd be able to get to where I wanted to be if I felt healthy," Cantlay said. "If I felt like I didn't have pain and I could practice and prepare for tournaments. I know how to practice and prepare for tournaments, so I can do what I want. I feel like I can play well and compete with anybody."

2 – Alex Cejka, who now lives in Las Vegas, birdied the last four holes at TPC Summerlin to come home in 30 and post a closing 63. The German also finished tied second in this event two seasons ago but this was his best result on the circuit since then. In 2017, his best result on Tour had been a tie for ninth in the Greenbrier Classic. "It's tough to play at home," Cejka said. "There is a lot of pressure, and people expect good things from you."

3 – There was an extremely tightly packed leaderboard at TPC Summerlin with the top 19 players separated by only five shots.

Graeme McDowell on using bounce:

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell finished strongly with a 66 and, although he ended the week just three shots off the playoff, he walked away with a tie for 10th place.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada Nov 2-5 Purse: $6,800,000 Par: 71

1       Patrick Cantlay (USA)    67     71     70     67     275   $1,224,000 T2     Alex Cejka (Ger)            66     74     72     63     275   $598,400 T2     Whee Kim (Kor)            65     72     72     66     275   $598,400 T4     Patton Kizzire (USA)      70     66     76     64     276   $281,067 T4     JT Poston (USA)            69     71     70     66     276   $281,067 T4     Chesson Hadley (USA)   74     65     69     68     276   $281,067 T7     Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 67 72   71     67     277   $211,933 T7     Beau Hossler (USA)       69     69     66     73     277   $211,933 T7     Tom Hoge (USA)           68     73     67     69     277   $211,933 T10   J.J. Spaun (USA)           66     65     73     74     278   $150,733 T10   William McGirt (USA)     68     73     69     68     278   $150,733 T10   A.J. McInerney (USA)    71     70     70     67     278   $150,733   T10   Aaron Baddeley (Aus)    70     66     74     68     278   $150,733 T10   Graeme McDowell (NIR) 70     70     72     66     278   $150,733

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?