Patrick Cantlay hit a 21-foot birdie putt on the par-4 14th hole in the final round of the BMW Championship in 2021.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) – OWINGS MILLS, Md., is a small town on the eastern shore of Maryland. Cantlay put a fitting finish to an epic fight with Bryson DeChambeau by sinking an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the BMW Championship on Sunday, clutching down the stretch and over six dramatic playoff holes.
DeChambeau made a 59-foot putt on Friday and four birdie putts to win in regulation and the playoff on Sunday. Then, from just within 10 feet, he missed the most crucial putt of the week, extending the playoff. It cost him a win that had seemed to be his for the whole game.
It was impossible for “Patty Ice” to do so.
Thousands of exuberant fans at Caves Valley gave Cantlay the moniker as the PGA TOUR made its first visit to Baltimore in almost 60 years.
During the last two hours, Cantlay lived true to his name.
On the last three holes of regulation, he holed putts from 8 feet for par, 8 feet for bogey, and 20 feet for birdie for a 6-under 66, forcing a playoff. On the 18th hole in the playoff, he made par putts of 6 feet and 7 feet.
He won the final one, his third of the season on the PGA TOUR. Cantlay’s win not only propelled him to the top of the FedExCup rankings, but it also guaranteed him a place on the US Ryder Cup squad for the sixth and final time.
With such a clutch performance, he certainly wouldn’t have been left off.
Based on his position when the battle for the $15 million prize ends, Cantlay will enter the TOUR Championship with a two-shot advantage.
DeChambeau was devastated after powering his way through Caves Valley and seemed to have it wrapped up when he birdied the par-5 16th for a one-shot lead, only to see Cantlay drop it in the water on the following hole.
Instead, his lone memorable moment came on the fourth extra hole, when he saved par after hitting into a creek to the right of the 18th fairway.
As if the final round wasn’t exciting enough, there were a few tense moments between the only two players who had a chance to win the whole tournament.
Cantlay noted and analyzed 2-foot par putts on the first nine, which DeChambeau was rolling his eyes at. DeChambeau backed off and urged Cantlay to stop strolling up the 14th fairway as he prepared to hit his approach.
DeChambeau, who finished with a 66, suffered a difficult defeat in different ways. They tied for 27th place with a score of 261. On the PGA TOUR, no player has ever shot 261 and not won a tournament.
Sungjae Im shot a 67 and finished alone in third place, four strokes back. Rory McIlroy finished in fourth place after shooting a 67.
more: Ryan Blaney won the regular-season finale at Daytona in overtime for his third victory in 2021.
Long before he lifted his hat to the crowd on the 18th green in regulation, DeChambeau seemed to be a winner.
On the par-5 16th hole, he sank a 12-foot birdie putt while striking a bent head and extended arm in a clinched fist posture. Cantlay still had an 8-foot par putt to make up for his one-shot advantage. That was his creation, a foreshadowing of things to come.
Cantlay’s tee shot on the par-3 17th bounced short and right, with just enough velocity to roll onto the pond’s boulder and plummet into the water.
Is that the end of the competition? Certainly not. From 100 yards in the drop area, Cantlay shot a lob wedge to 8 feet. Cantlay came up clutch again to make his putt and remain one stroke behind after DeChambeau blasted a terrible chip from the rough to 12 feet and two-putted for par.
Then he made a 20-foot birdie on the 18th, and DeChambeau missed a 12-foot birdie putt to force a playoff.
Even without a trophy on the line, the tension was palpable in Caves Valley.
In the FedExCup three weeks ago, Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was ranked 139th. He won the Barracuda Championship, tied for eighth at Liberty National last week, and finished with a 65 to get into the TOUR Championship’s top 30.
For the first time since 2017, Sergio Garcia will return to East Lake. He finished in a tie for sixth place, moving into the top 30 for the first time. Charley Hoffman and Max Homa were ejected.
Patrick Reed held on after K.H. Lee’s bogey on the 18th lost him a spot in the TOUR Championship. If Reed stays well — he’s been out with bilateral pneumonia — it’ll offer him one more opportunity to be a Ryder Cup captain’s selection.
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Patrick Cantlay comes up clutch to win in playoff at BMW Championship