The American Patrick Cantlay achieved with a putt the par on the 18th hole, he won this Sunday the tiebreaker to his compatriot Collin Morikawa and the new champion of the Memorial tournament, of the PGA Tour, was proclaimed upon concluding the fourth round with a record of 71 (-1) and accumulating 275 (-13), the same as the runner-up.
But his triumph, the second he achieved in the tournament, which he had won for the first time in the 2019 edition, was marked with an asterisk After yesterday, Saturday, at the conclusion of the third round with the Spanish Jon Rahm at the head of the classification and six strokes ahead, he had to leave the tournament because he tested positive for Covid-19.
Without Rahm, the fourth round left the fight for the title between the two American golfers who maintained the equality until at the 18th hole, Cantlay was better with the putt from the green, both when he managed to tie the lead with a birdie before the game ended and later in the tiebreaker.
That was all that was allowed to come to normal in a tournament that was as much about the type that won as the type that did not play.
The tournament left a new champion, a lot of drama, a little rain at the beginning and no sign of Rahm, the true protagonist of the tournament, which before leaving had tied historical records.
“I would rather have faced him today, finish a low round and beat him that way,” Cantlay said. after closing the tour. “But unfortunately, there is nothing I can do.”
Cantlay noted that “I did everything I could with the cards that were dealt to me, and I really did a good job of concentrating today on the task of completing the tour.or best possible and that’s all you can do in this game. “
He did it with a better putt than Morikawa, who missed a par putt of less than six feet to extend the playoff.
The PGA Tour reported that Rahm had been in contact with a positive Covid-19 and was in their contact tracing program, subject to testing every day since Monday. All tests were negative until Saturday, after their rain-delayed second round.
He was informed after tying the 54-hole record at 18 under par and 198. His six-shot lead tied the Memorial record set by Tiger Woods. and then he was out of the tournament.
“We are all devastated,” Nicklaus said early Sunday. “I wish we could figure out how to give Jon three-quarters of the trophy.”
Rahm hit 13 under par at the 11th hole on Saturday and kept going. It is unknown how he would have fared on Sunday. No one has lost such a great advantage in the final round at Muirfield Village, though it has happened six times on the PGA Tour, most recently by American Dustin Johnson in Shanghai in 2017.
Cantlay recorded his fourth career victory on the PGA Tour and his second this season. Cantlay also won the ZoZo Championship in California last October, rebounding from a three-shot deficit to overtake Rahm and American Justin Thomas.
He becomes the seventh player to win multiple times at the Memorial, a list that begins with Woods winning five times and Nicklaus, the founder of the tournament, winning twice.
Cantlay took a prize money of 1,674,000 dollars (1,376,000 euros) and 550 points for the classification of the FedEx Cup, while Morikawa achieved another of 1,013,700 dollars (832,000 euros) and 315 points.
Morikawa won at Muirfield Village last year, but not at the Memorial. Won in a playoff against Thomas at the Workday Charity Open, only once even when the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the John Deere Classic.
In that tournament, Morikawa had to watch twice as Thomas had a putt on the 18th green to win, and survived to win on the third extra hole.
While the Mexican Carlos Ortiz finished in sixteenth place with a cumulative 286 strokes (-2) that he shared with Australian Adam Scott after handing over a signed card of 75 (+3).
For his part, the Spanish Rafael Cabrera finished the fourth round with a record of 72 (even) and accumulated 290 (+2) to share thirty-sixth place with four other players.