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In a dramatic playoff end that capped a wild 24 hours at Muirfield Village, Patrick Cantlay drained a vital par putt on the primary further gap to edge Collin Morikawa and safe his second Memorial Tournament title and fourth profession PGA Tour victory.
Cantlay canned a putt from 11 toes, 9 inches on the 18th earlier than Morikawa didn’t make his putt from 6 toes after each gamers grinded out matching 1-under 71s on Sunday in Dublin, Ohio, to complete at 13-under 275.
But what might need been most notable in the course of the closing spherical was the participant who was not current: Jon Rahm.
The World No. 3 was cruising into the clubhouse Saturday night with a six-stroke lead and a record-tying 54-hole whole, however he was met coming off the 18th inexperienced by PGA Tour medical advisor, Dr. Tom Hospel, who delivered the information that Rahm had examined constructive for COVID-19 and must withdraw from the match.
According to the PGA Tour, Rahm was positioned in touch tracing protocols on Monday after officers realized he had been in shut contact with somebody who had examined constructive. Rahm elected to stay within the match, which meant he needed to endure every day testing and had restricted entry to indoor services at Muirfield Village. Although the Spaniard remained asymptomatic and had examined adverse each day till Saturday, a check carried out after the completion of his rain-delayed second spherical returned a constructive end result as did a second check on the unique pattern.
“While this is an incredibly unfortunate situation, throughout 50 events since the PGA Tour’s Return to Golf, there have been only four positive tests (including Rahm) within competition,” the Tour mentioned in an announcement. “Rahm is the first positive, asymptomatic case as part of the Tour’s routine, contact-tracing protocols.”
“I’m very disappointed in having to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament,” the 26-year-old Rahm said in a statement Saturday on Twitter. “This is one of those things that happens in life, one of those moments where how we respond to a setback defines us as people. I’m very thankful that my family and I are all OK.”
Prior to the WD, Rahm was having a spectacular Saturday that included 23 holes as he finished his second round, highlighted by an ace on No. 16 en route to a 7-under 65. He followed that up with a third-round 64 that featured nine birdies – six on the back – and just one bogey. His 18-under 198 matched the tournament mark for low 54-hole score and his six-stroke lead equaled the largest 54-hole margin. It was a strong enough performance for PointsBet Sportsbook to pay out win bets on Rahm in full despite the ill-timed WD.
But instead in the blink of an eye, Cantlay and Morikawa found themselves tied for the lead at 12-under going into Sunday.
“It was such a weird situation, so unfortunate,” said Cantlay, who also won the Zozo Championship in California last October. “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. …
“I would much rather have faced him down today and shot an extremely low round and beat him that way. But unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do. I did everything I could with the cards I was dealt, and I really did a good job of focusing today on the task at hand and staying present. And that’s all you can do in this game.”
Cantlay grew to become the fourth a number of winner this season (becoming a member of Stewart Cink, Bryson DeChambeau and Jason Kokrak) and the seventh participant to win a number of occasions on the Memorial, an inventory that features five-time Memorial winner Tiger Woods and match founder Jack Nicklaus, who gained twice.
Morikawa was additionally chasing his second title at Muirfield Village after successful there final 12 months in a three-hole playoff in opposition to Justin Thomas at the Workday Charity Open, a one-time event that replaced the John Deere Classic.
“Obviously it sucks to lose a playoff, but today was a grind and that’s all I could focus on. I couldn’t really hit a green for my life,” said Morikawa, who also was chasing his second “W” this season after winning the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession.
“To get into a playoff, to make the putts I needed to make, just to keep myself in it, I’m proud of myself. I didn’t feel like I really ever played this game where I’m missing every green, chipping, making 10-footers. I like it the other way where I hit it a lot closer. But it’s going to be something I’m going to learn from a lot and just look back and see how I can grow from this.”
Only two other players, Texan Scottie Scheffler (11-under 277) and South African Branden Grace (10-under 278), had practical photographs at contending on Sunday and completed third and fourth, respectively. Patrick Reed completed fifth at 8-under 280 for his sixth prime 10 of the season.
Jimmy Walker carded the low round of the day to lead a trio of players tied for sixth. Walker carded a bogey-free, 7-under 75 to vault 32 positions on the leaderboard.
“That’s the best I’ve ever gone around this place,” said Walker, who admitted to having been “pretty discouraged” the last few seasons. What’s more, his week started on a stressful note when a computer glitch did not have him listed in the field upon his arrival.
“It’s always kind of kicked me in the rear every time I come here. But I’ve been working really hard. I hit it pretty nice this week and today it was kind of, I felt like, man, I really kind of had it all together and I haven’t in a long time. So, it’s, it really feels nice.”
Fowler turns focus to U.S. Open qualifying
Rickie Fowler’s game looks to be trending in the right direction following a T-11 finish at the Memorial. The 32-year-old Fowler, who notched a top 10 at the PGA Championship with a T-8 finish at Kiawah Island, put a new piece of equipment into play at Muirfield Village and it appeared to make a difference.
The new gear? A pair of Oakley tinted sunglasses with prescription lenses, reportedly measuring a mild -.75 in one eye and -.50 in the other. A recent swing change allowed Fowler to finally try wearing glasses while playing.
“I always felt the nose piece,” said Fowler, who finished T-11 at 4 under. “With how much I move sometimes in the swing, it would get in the way and I would lose sight of the ball, which is why I didn’t like glasses forever.
“Now that things have been cleaned up and I swing a little bit more just within myself, that gave me the opportunity in just standard sunglasses without prescription, I saw that I wasn’t squinting as much, wasn’t stressing my eyes as much. … So I said, ‘Shoot, why don’t we try prescription?’ So now I can actually see the ball land.”
That revelation comes just in time for Fowler to tee it up in a 36-hole U.S. Open final qualifying event at two nearby courses on Monday. Currently at No. 101 in the OWGR, he needed a minimum of a solo second at the Memorial to move into the top 60 in the world to earn his spot in the field at Torrey Pines.
“It will probably be a protracted day,” mentioned Fowler, who’ll be joined by Padraig Harrington, Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley at Brookside Country Club and Lakes Golf & Country Club in Ohio. “Hopefully we are able to dodge some rain and storms within the afternoon. Other than that, it is nearly transferring ahead. I did a reasonably good job of that this week.
“Obviously I didn’t qualify off of points or world rankings for the U.S. Open, so go out tomorrow, have a chance to go qualify and get myself a spot, a tee time in a week and a half from now.”
He’s carried out it twice earlier than: Fowler made the U.S. Open discipline via qualifying in 2008 and 2009 whereas in faculty at Oklahoma State. While he didn’t earn a spot within the discipline in 2010, his first 12 months as a professional, Fowler has performed in each U.S. Open since.
Fans gasoline Brooks-vs.-Bryson ‘feud’
World No. 7 Brooks Koepka wasn’t even within the discipline on the Memorial, however that didn’t cease followers from fanning some flames on the perceived “feud” between Koepka and DeChambeau.
DeChambeau, who completed T-18 at 1-under 287, confronted incessant taunts of “Let’s go, Brooksy,” all through his 33 holes on Friday and instructed media afterward he thought-about it a praise.
“It was flattering,” mentioned the 27-year-old world No. 4. “They can keep calling me that all day if they want to, I’ve got no issue with it. Most people they think it’s a distraction, but I grew up learning how to deal with that stuff.”
Several spectators had been reportedly escorted by safety off the match premises following the incidents, and Koepka seemingly reached out to these followers by way of a video posted Friday on Twitter, saying: “I heard a bunch of you were shouting my name at the golf tournament. I know I’m not playing but thank you guys for the support.” He went on to offer free cases of beer from one of his sponsors to a handful of fans if their time was “cut short” at Muirfield Village.
While DeChambeau brushed aside any notion of animosity between himself and Koepka, playing partner Jordan Spieth acknowledged the distraction.
“Any bad hole, someone was yelling it and then any good hole people were yelling, ‘Go Bryson’ almost louder,” said Spieth, who was paired with DeChambeau for the first two rounds and also finished T-18 for the tournament. “It was like a pseudo rivalry and (Koepka) is not even here.”
Up subsequent: Palmetto Championship at Congaree
With only one match cease left earlier than the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, the PGA Tour heads again to South Carolina for the third time this season with the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. The match is a one-time substitute for the RBC Canadian Open, which was canceled because of lingering restrictions and challenges tied to the coronavirus pandemic.
World No. 1 and South Carolina native Dustin Johnson is set to make his first start since missing the cut at the PGA Championship and will be seeking his 25th Tour title and first in his home state. Also back in action is eight-time Tour winner and Koepka, making his first start since a runner-up finish at Kiawah Island.
Some less familiar faces to look out for this week include 22-year-old South African Garrick Higgo, playing on Commissioner’s Exemption and making his second career Tour start after finishing T-64 at the recent PGA Championship. The three-time European Tour champ, now No. 52 in the Official World Golf Ranking, has won twice in his last three starts in Europe (Gran Canaria Lopesan Open and Canary Islands Championship).
Fresh off a fifth-place individual finish at the NCAA Championship to cap an outstanding collegiate career at Florida State, John Pak will make his professional debut at Congaree. Pak, winner of the Ben Hogan Award and Fred Haskins Award for most outstanding male collegiate golfer, also collected the Jack Nicklaus Award for top collegiate golfer on Sunday at Muirfield Village. Fun fact: FSU alum Koepka footed the bill for Pak’s last-minute private flight from Tallahassee, Fla., to Dublin, Ohio.
The RBC Canadian Open is set to return in 2022 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto, which last hosted the event in 2010.
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