Monday, November 06, 2017

Patrick Cantlay wins three-man play-off 

for first US PGA Tour title 


It was another blustery day in Las Vegas, and it created an unlikely finish to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Here's how things ended up as Patrick Cantlay, pictured above, emerged from a three-way play-off to earn his first career US PGA Tour victory.
Unranked in February, Cantlay is now inside the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking following his play-off victory
Cantlay outlasted Alex Cejka and Whee Kim on the second extra hole at TPC Summerlin, and with the win he moved up 25 spots to No. 42 in the world.
The 25-year-old was unranked prior to the AT and T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, a start that sparked a strong run for Cantlay that included a Tour Championship appearance and no missed cuts.
Now the former No. 1 amateur is ranked ahead of veterans like Branden Grace (44th), Zach Johnson (48th) and Bill Haas (50th),
Patrick Cantlay (-9, won with par on second play-off hole), Alex Cejka (-9), Whee Kim (-9), Chesson Hadley (-8), Patton Kizzire (-8), J.T. Poston (-8)

What it means: It was a struggle down the stretch for the contenders, as one player after the next failed to solve the closing hole at TPC Summerlin. 
It created a revolving door at the top of the leaderboard that led to a play-off which included Cejka, who started the day eight shots off the lead. After the first hole was tied with three bogeys, the trio returned to No. 18 where Cantlay finally managed a par for the win.
It's a breakthrough title for a player with great potential who has battled injury in recent years but made the Tour Championship for the first time in September.
Round of the day: Cejka started the day in a tie for 29th, and he posted an 8-under 63 before the winds kicked up to vex the leaders. Cejka was even par throughg six holes of his final round before heating up, coming home in 6-under 30 including birdies on each of his final four holes. 
While his title bid ended with two bogeys in extra time, it was still an admirable rally from the 46-year-old German.
Best of the rest: Like Cejka, Kizzire made an early charge before the winds kicked up and snagged a share of fourth following a 7-under 64. Kizzire had eight birdies on the day, including four in a row on Nos. 14-17, en route to his best finish since a runner-up at the 2016 Safeway Open.
Biggest disappointment: While every player outside of Cantlay will rue some wasted chances, none stumbled quite as hard as J.J. Spaun. Standing on the 17th tee with a share of the lead, he fluffed a pitch shot en route to a double bogey, then hit his drive behind a tree on No. 18, requiring a left-handed second shot. It led to another double, as the overnight leader ended up in a tie for 10th, three shots out of the playoff following a closing 74.
Shot of the day: Cantlay found himself stuck behind a tree on the second playoff hole, but he hit a "cut 4-iron" that bounded toward the back of the green. 
It set up a two-putt from the fringe that clinched his victory following a missed par putt from Cejka.
Quote of the day: "It was a grind, the last few holes. Just a lot of hard work." - Cantlay.

Par 284 (4x71)
players from USA unless stated otherwise
275 Patrick Cantlay 67 71 70 67, Alex Cejka (Germany) 66 74 72 63, Whee Kim (South Korea) 65 72 72 66 (Cantlay won sudden-death play-off at second extra hole).
276 Patton Kizzire 70 66 76 64, J T Poston 69 71 70 66, Chesson Hadley 74 65 69 68.

278 Graeme McDowell (N Ireland) 70 70 72 66, J J Spaun 66 65 73 74 (T10)
282 Luke Donald (England) 72 70 73 67 (T32)
283 Seamus Power (Ireland) 69 71 71 72 (T44)
289 Brian Davis (England) 70 71 75 73 (T68)]
290 Russell Knox (Scotland) 69 73 75 73 (T72)

MISSED CUT (143 and better qualified)
144 Martin Laird (Scotland) 74 74




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