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Posted June 7, 2021 in "Watts" In The Bag by Tom Brassell
By The Associated Press
DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Patrick Cantlay delivered a clutch birdie late in the round and a 12-foot par putt in a playoff to win the Memorial on a Sunday filled with drama, a little rain and no Jon Rahm.
Cantlay closed with a 1-under 71 and won the Memorial for the second time in three years, and he said he felt the same range of emotions in the final hour at Muirfield Village in his duel with Collin Morikawa.
But it wasn’t the same.
Only a day earlier, Cantlay walked off the 18th green six shots behind Rahm, whose 64 ranked as one of the great rounds at the course Jack Nicklaus built and tied two Memorial records, including largest 54-hole lead.
But he tested positive for the coronavirus — Rahm had been in the contact tracing protocol — and was withdrawn from the tournament.
Just like that, Cantlay and Morikawa went from six shots behind to tied for the lead.
And for so much of the final round, it stayed that way. Morikawa surged ahead with an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-5 15th, while Cantlay missed birdie putts from 8 feet to tie him on the 15th, and then on the par-3 16th.
The round was halted for about five minutes because of a pop-up downpour while they were on the 17th green. When it resumed, Cantlay holed a 25-foot birdie putt to tie, and Morikawa stayed in the game with a 12-foot par.
Cantlay had a 25-foot birdie putt for the win on the 18th in regulation that grazed the right side of the cup, leaving he and Morikawa (71) at 13-under 275.
Rahm finished his 54 holes at 18-under 198, tying the Memorial record. No one had ever lost a lead that large in the final round at Muirfield Village, though it has happened six times on the PGA Tour, most recently by Dustin Johnson in Shanghai in 2017.
Nicklaus figured the awkward situation for Cantlay and Morikawa would be one more element for them to battle.
“It was such a weird situation, so unfortunate,” Cantlay said. “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 career, and second this season. Cantlay also won the ZoZo Championship in California last October, rallying from a three-shot deficit to beat Rahm and Justin Thomas.
He becomes the seventh player to win multiple times at the Memorial, a list that starts with Tiger Woods winning five times and even Nicklaus, the tournament founder, winning twice.
To see “Watts” in Patrick Cantlay’s bag, take a look below.
Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees @8.75, C1 setting) – Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60 TX
3-wood: Titleist 915F (15 degrees, B1 setting) – Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 70 TX
Hybrid: Titleist 816 H2 (21 degrees, B1 setting) – Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 10 TX
Irons: Titleist 718 AP2 (4-9) – Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold 120 Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M) Titleist Vokey SM8 (61 Proto)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x (2019)
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet