THE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT
Cantlay’s Unlikely Playoff Win Over Morikawa
Patrick Cantlay sank a clutch par putt on the first playoff hole, defeating Collin Morikawa to win the US PGA Memorial tournament for the second time in three years.
World number 15 Cantlay sank a 14-foot birdie putt on the 71st hole in regulation play to grab a share of the lead, then rolled in a 12-foot par putt on the first extra hole for the win when US compatriot Morikawa, the 2020 PGA Championship winner, couldn’t match Cantlay par from eight feet.
Cantlay, the 2019 Memorial winner, and sixth-ranked Morikawa each fired one-under par 71 in the final round to finish 72 holes on 13-under 275 at
Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
The course was still abuzz after thirdranked Jon Rahm’s stunning departure Saturday after testing positive for Covid-19. The Spaniard had fired a 64 to grab a six-stroke lead before being forced to withdraw as Morikawa and Cantlay went from a distant second to the 54-hole lead.
“Such a weird situation and so unfortunate,” Cantlay said. “Me included, everybody knows it would be a totally different day today had that not happened.”
Dealing with the title going from almost out of reach to up for grabs required Cantlay to regroup. “Nothing I can do about it. I tried to get refocused,” he said. “I hit a lot of shaky shots at the start but I reset and hit a lot of clutch shots down the stretch.”
The playoff on the par-4 18th hole saw Morikawa find the fairway but with mud on his ball while Cantlay was on a slope in the right rough. Morikawa followed with a 6-iron into left greenside rough while Cantlay blasted an 8-iron shot into a left bunker.
Morikawa punched out to eight feet from the hole while Cantlay blasted 12 feet past the cup but rolled in his putt while Morikawa missed, ending the daylong battle.
“It sucks to lose a playoff, but today was a grind and that’s all I could focus on,” Morikawa said. “I couldn’t really hit a green for my life.
“To get into a playoff, to make the putts I needed just to keep myself in it, I’m proud of myself. It’s crazy. It’s going to be something I’m going to learn from a lot, just look back and see how I can grow from this.”
During the final round, Morikawa and Cantlay shared the lead at 12-under by the par-5 15th. An eight-foot birdie from Morikawa saw him seize the lead alone at 13-under.
While Cantlay missed birdie putts from just outside eight feet at 15 and the par-3 16th, a 24-foot birdie at the 17th as the crowd roared matched Morikawa for the lead again.
Morikawa sneaked his par putt into the left side of the cup for another roar and keep his share of the lead. Both co-leaders then parred 18 to force the playoff.