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A bizarre weekend at the Memorial ends in Patrick Cantlay playoff win

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

Cantlay closed with a 1-under 71 and received the Memorial for the second time in three years, and he stated he felt the identical vary of feelings in the closing 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 certainly one of the nice rounds at the course Jack Nicklaus constructed and tied two Memorial information, together with the largest 54-hole lead.

But he examined constructive for the coronavirus — Rahm had been in the contact tracing protocol — and was withdrawn from the event.

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

And for a lot of the closing spherical, it stayed that manner. Morikawa surged forward with an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-5 fifteenth, whereas Cantlay missed birdie putts from 8 toes to tie him on the fifteenth, after which on the par-3 sixteenth.

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

Cantlay had a 25-foot birdie putt for the win on the 18th in regulation that grazed the proper facet 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 in the closing spherical at Muirfield Village, although it has occurred six instances on the PGA Tour, most just lately by Dustin Johnson in Shanghai in 2017.

Memorial Tournament: Full-field scores | Full coverage

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

“It was such a weird situation, so unfortunate,” Cantlay stated. “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 the second this season. Cantlay additionally received 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 instances at the Memorial, a listing that begins with Tiger Woods profitable 5 instances and even Nicklaus, the event founder, profitable twice.

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

In that event, 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.

Cantlay stays patient to win Memorial in playoff

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

Cantlay was nicely proper and hacked it out right into a bunker, however his shot from the moist sand rolled out 12 toes. 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 giant exhale earlier than going over to shake fingers with Nicklaus.

Scottie Scheffler, who began three photographs behind after Rahm was knocked out of the event, was tied for the lead with a birdie on the fifteenth. 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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