The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)
Cantlay delivers clutch putting for signature win
OWINGS MILLS, MD. >> No one ever questioned that Patrick Cantlay had the chops to be among golf’s elite.
What he might have lacked in number of PGA Tour victories, he made up for it with the way he won or the field he beat. His victory Aug. 29 in the BMW Championship — the fifth of his career and his PGA Tour-leading third of the season — was a little of each.
On a Caves Valley course that suited the biggest hitters, facing the biggest masher of them all in Bryson DeChambeau, he delivered a moment that will be remembered for the ice in his veins and nerves of steel.
He really only smiled after he made the last of six pivotal putts on the final nine holes — six of them in a sudden-death playoff.
“I’m just as focused as I can be. If I look the way I do, it’s because I am locked in and focused,” Cantlay said. “And I felt like that today.”
Even more remarkable is that Cantlay had plenty of occasions to believe he wouldn’t be winning the BMW Championship, yet it only crossed his mind once.
That came on the second playoff hole when he hit his approach heavy and came up 55 feet short of the hole. DeChambeau, who had a 30-yard advantage off the tee on the 18th hole, hit wedge into 6 feet.
“I liked Bryson’s chances of making that 6-footer up the hill,” Cantlay said. “I thought he was going to make that putt. That was maybe the only time that I really thought I was done. But he didn’t make it. That’s golf.”
As for the other times? Right when Cantlay looked to be done, he was clutch.
DeChambeau took a oneshot lead on the par-5 16th with a 12-foot putt, and Cantlay still faced an 8-foot par putt to avoid falling two behind. He made it.
On the next hole, Cantlay’s tee shot bounced short and right and into the water, with DeChambeau in the rough just short of the green, about 25 feet from the hole. Cantlay removed his cap and slowly tugged it over his head. Surely, it was over.