Cantlay Takes the Memorial in a Playoff

Patrick Cantlay - the Memorial Tournament
Patrick Cantlay holds the trophy after winning the Memorial golf tournament, Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Dublin, Ohio. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Patrick Cantlay bested Collin Morikawa on the first playoff hole to win the Memorial Tournament for the second time in three years after trailing Jon Rahm by six shots following Saturday’s third round. Unfortunately, the defending champion Rahm tested positive for Covid-19 and was forced to withdraw from the tournament prior to the final round.

Cantlay and Morikawa were tied for the lead at 12 under par entering Sunday’s play, three shots clear of Scottie Scheffler and Branden Grace, neither of whom made a serious challenge to the two leaders. Both shot one under par 71 to force the playoff, with Scheffler posting a two-under 70 to finish two shots back in third place.

Both playoff participants have had recent success at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, the course designed by Jack Nicklaus and the site of the Memorial Tournament since its inception in 1976. Cantlay had won the Memorial in 2019 for his second PGA Tour win, and Collin Morikawa won the Workday Charity Open last July, which had been moved to Muirfield Village as part of the Covid-19 related changes to the 2020 Tour schedule.

Cantlay came into the Memorial Tournament at +2000 odds to win.

On the first playoff hole, both players had par putts, with Cantlay’s from just over 11 feet and Morikawa having a little more than half that distance. Cantlay was able to drain his putt, but Morikawa wasn’t able to match it, giving the UCLA alum his fourth PGA Tour title.

With the victory, Cantlay won $1.675 million, received a three-year exemption on the PGA Tour, and picked up 550 FedEx Cup points that moved him to the top of the season-long standings. The extra year of exemption of the 50 additional FedEx Cup points came as a result of the Memorial’s elevated status among PGA Tour events.

Cantlay now leads Bryson DeChambeau by 177 points, with Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, and Viktor Hovland all within 95 points of DeChambeau. In the betting odds, Cantlay was tied for sixth at +2000, with Morkiawa just slightly better at +1800.

the Memorial Tournament Betting Odds Recap

Rahm was the wagering favorite at +1200, and although a victory was not necessarily a foregone conclusion, had it not been for the positive test, he most likely would have won the Memorial for the second year in a row, with Cantlay and Morikawa playing for a runner up spot. Third place finisher Scheffler had been +4500 in the betting odds.

Last week’s runner up Jordan Spieth, experiencing a bounce-back season and with the second-best odds of +1600, recovered from an opening-round four over par 76 with a five-under-par 67 to comfortably make the cut, ultimately finishing in a tie for 18th at one-under-par. DeChambeau was another one of the tournament favorites at +1800 and was tied with Spieth after failing to break 70 in any of four rounds.

Jimmy Walker entered the tournament with twelve missed cuts and only one top 25 finish in the 2021 season, but the 2016 PGA Championship winner shot a final round 65 to tie for sixth as a +20000 odds longshot. 

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