Cantlay wins a playoff at Memorial on Sunday without Rahm

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Patrick Cantlay delivered a clutch birdie late within the spherical and a 12-foot par putt in a playoff to win the Memorial on a Sunday stuffed with drama, a little rain and no Jon Rahm.

Cantlay closed with a 1-under 71 and gained the Memorial for the second time in three years, and he mentioned he felt the identical vary of feelings within the remaining hour at Muirfield Village in his duel with Collin Morikawa.

But it wasn’t the identical.

Only a day earlier, Cantlay walked off the 18th inexperienced six photographs behind Rahm, whose 64 ranked as one of many nice rounds at the course Jack Nicklaus constructed and tied two Memorial data, together with largest 54-hole lead.

But he examined optimistic for the coronavirus — Rahm had been within the contact tracing protocol — and was withdrawn from the match.

Just like that, Cantlay and Morikawa went from six photographs behind to tied for the lead.

And for a lot of the ultimate spherical, it stayed that means. Morikawa surged forward with an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-5 15th, whereas Cantlay missed birdie putts from Eight ft to tie him on the 15th, after which on the par-3 16th.

The spherical was halted for about 5 minutes due to a pop-up downpour whereas they had been on the 17th inexperienced. When it resumed, Cantlay holed a 25-foot birdie putt to tie, and Morikawa stayed within the sport with a 12-foot par.

Cantlay had a 25-foot birdie putt for the win on the 18th in regulation that grazed the best aspect of the cup, leaving he and Morikawa (71) at 13-under 275.

Rahm completed his 54 holes at 18-under 198, tying the Memorial file. No one had ever misplaced a lead that giant within the remaining spherical at Muirfield Village, although it has occurred six occasions on the PGA Tour, most lately by Dustin Johnson in Shanghai in 2017.

Nicklaus figured the awkward state of affairs for Cantlay and Morikawa can be another aspect for them to battle.

“It was such a weird situation, so unfortunate,” Cantlay mentioned. “Everyone, me included, knows it would be totally different today if that hadn’t happened. But there’s nothing I could do about it. I tried as hard as I could to reset and refocus.”

It led to the fourth victory of his PGA Tour profession, and second this season. Cantlay additionally gained the ZoZo Championship in California final October, rallying from a three-shot deficit to beat Rahm and Justin Thomas.

He turns into the seventh participant to win a number of occasions at the Memorial, a record that begins with Tiger Woods successful 5 occasions and even Nicklaus, the match founder, successful twice.

Morikawa gained at Muirfield Village final 12 months, simply not the Memorial. He gained in a playoff in opposition to Thomas at the Workday Charity Open, a one-time even when the pandemic pressured the John Deere Classic to be canceled.

In that match, Morikawa twice needed to watch as Thomas had a putt on the 18th inexperienced to win, and he survived to win on the third additional gap.

This time, he escaped one birdie probability by Cantlay in regulation. On the 18th within the playoff, Morikawa had a small piece of mud on his ball and got here up nicely brief from the green into deep tough. He chipped out to six ft.

Cantlay was nicely proper and hacked it out into a bunker, however his shot from the moist sand rolled out 12 ft. It was on the identical line as his 25-foot birdie try in regulation, and this time he poured it in for par. Moments later, Morikawa missed his 6-footer and Cantlay set free a large exhale earlier than going over to shake arms with Nicklaus.

Scottie Scheffler, who began three photographs behind after Rahm was knocked out of the match, was tied for the lead with a birdie on the 15th. His final probability ended when he missed a 6-foot par putt on the 18th. That gave him a 70, and he completed alone in third, two photographs behind.

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