Patrick Cantlay had a brilliant response when asked why Europe keeps winning the Ryder Cup
Not only has Patrick Cantlay enjoyed an abundance of success on the course recently, but he’s found something of a calling without a club in hand.
This year’s $15 million man and PGA Tour player of the year has become a natural in the press room, wowing media members, fellow players and fans with some brilliantly thought-out responses to some of the game’s biggest talking points.
Why the sudden turnaround from someone previously considered to be a little robotic and reserved in the personality stakes? Well, according to Cantlay, success on the course doesn’t just translate to earnings and trophies.
With more people interested in what he has to say, better questions have given him a chance to show he’s more than just birdies and bogeys.
The most recent example came at Whistling Straits in the run-up to the 43rd Ryder Cup, when the 29-year-old was asked why the Europeans “keep winning this thing”.
Over to you, Patrick…
“So I’ve read a few gin books,” the Ryder Cup rookie opened. “Let’s see if I get it right.
“If you play enough gin hands a one or two per cent difference in skill translates to almost an assured win over many, many, many hands of gin.
“But you could have a big difference between somebody, maybe a 60 to 40 per cent skill-level difference, and gin is still chancy enough to where you could play ten hands and lose six or seven of the hands than someone that’s much worse than you skill-wise.
“Really there’s only two — these matches are only played every two years, and golf is very chancy.
“So would it surprise you if the US went on a similar run to what Europe has been on for the next 20 years? Wouldn’t surprise me.
“You go to Vegas and you play roulette and the chances are 50/50 but skewed toward the house a little, it could hit red six times in a row, but that’s not abnormal.
“You flip a quarter; it would be weird if the quarter flipped tails, heads, tails, heads, tails, heads. Then you would think something trippy was going on.
“I try to take a very long-term view on things like that. Who knows.
“The captains are different every year. The players are different every year. The venues are different every year. The weather is different every year.
“You’re really going to ask a question like that and think you’re going to get the right answer? I don’t have the answers to that. This is my first one.”
Whether right or wrong, it’s certainly a more interesting response than the usual platitudes about team spirit and camaraderie.
And the home side will be hoping there is some truth to Cantlay’s response as they bid to tip the scales in their favour this week and perhaps spark their own period of supremacy.