Patrick Cantlay wins Shriners Open in playoff for 1st PGA Tour title

Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Patrick Cantlay wins Shriners Open in playoff for 1st PGA Tour title

PGA Tour

Patrick Cantlay wins Shriners Open in playoff for 1st PGA Tour title

Here is a recap of the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas:

WINNER: Patrick Cantlay is a PGA Tour winner. And it may be just the first title of many.

The 25-year-old birdied four straight holes on the back nine Sunday and still made a playoff despite a bogey-bogey finish. A 4-under 67 on the day put him at 9 under and in extra holes with Alex Cejka and Whee Kim.

Cantlay actually had to make an 8-foot bogey putt at the first playoff hole (the par-4 18th) just to stay alive. But he snuck it in. The trio returned to 18, and Cantlay leaked his drive right, and had a pair of trees in his path on the approach.

He hit a cut 4-iron between them for a valiant shot that ended up in beautiful position just over the green on the monstrous 18th. With Cejka 15 feet away for par and Kim at best making bogey, Cantlay nearly drained his 70-foot putt from over the green for birdie and the win.

The ball rolled over the left side of the hole and some 3 feet by. When Cejka missed his par effort, Cantlay still had that shortie for the win, and he buried it.

Cantlay, who began the day four shots back, was once a wunderkind. He was a star at UCLA who rose to World Amateur No. 1. He even shot 60 in a PGA Tour event as an amateur. But injuries (mostly dealing with his back) and the tragic death of a close friend derailed Cantlay for years from competing in golf events early in his pro career. In fact, he essentially last competed in a professional event in November 2014 before returning in February 2017.

He showed right away this year that his star had not faded, nearly capturing the Valspar Championship and finishing second there. He tacked on a tie for third and then five more top-15 finishes before this win. Cantlay still has not missed a cut in 15 PGA Tour starts this year, and he did so much on a limited slate that he even qualified for the Tour Championship in the 2016-17 season.

But there’s nothing like a win. Cantlay has that now and the floodgates could be open.

The crowded category of potential young superstars has officially packed on another member with Cantlay joining the fray.

JUST MISSED: Cejka started the day eight shots back but fired an 8-under 63 to make an incredible charge to reach a playoff. He had a 15-footer on the first extra hole for the win, but it hit the right side of the cup and raced on by. Kim had to take an unplayable lie on the second extra hole on his way to a double bogey and elimination. Such an agonizing day for J.J. Spaun. He was the 36-hole leader and shared the 54-hole lead. Spaun also had the lead outright and a share of it on the back nine. It all unraveled at 17. Spaun made a double bogey there to fall from 10 under (the lead) to 8 under (one back). He then double bogeyed 18 to fall to 6 under. He went from potential win to a tie for 10th in a matter of 30 minutes. Fellow 54-hole co-leader Beau Hossler closed in 73 to tie for seventh at 7 under.

SHOT OF THE DAY: A.J. McInerney’s story is so beautiful this week. More on that below, but here’s how he finished off his tournament. A really important birdie.

QUOTABLE: “I had so many lows. To all the hard work that I did, it’s just so different from where I was that it’s hard to describe the feeling.” – Cantlay

SHORT SHOTS: McInerney, who survived the Las Vegas shooting, has an amazing PGA Tour debut. Seriously, what a story. With Spaun’s drop, McInerney also finishes T-10 at 6 under. McInerney birdied 10, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 18 for a clutch closing 30. Again, this is in his PGA Tour debut. What a baller. McInerney had the potential for a sticky decision to make, as his top-10 finish earned him a spot in next week’s PGA Tour event. But he’s also signed up for second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School. He iterated Saturday night that he was going to choose Q-School. … Charley Hoffman, who is donating all his winnings this week to Vegas shooting victims, finishes in a tie for 18th at 4 under. For the week he earns $98,600, all earmarked for relief. … Past champion Webb Simpson ties for 20th at 3 under. … Sam Burns fires a closing 67 to jump 28 spots to a tie for 20th at 3 under as well. … Defending champion Rod Pampling finishes in a tie for 47th at even par. … Bubba Watson, who has moved on from the Volvik golf ball, posts a tie for 51st at 1 over.

UP NEXT: The PGA Tour will move back outside the United States, as the OHL Classic at Mayakoba (in Playa del Carmen, Mexico) is on hand. Follow all the action on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home