[PHOTO: Douglas P. DeFelice]

Cameron Young did it again. That’s the problem. Because this time it’s a record he doesn’t want to hold.

The 26-year-old, third-year PGA Tour member recorded yet another second-place finish, this time falling two shots short of Peter Malnati at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Sure, second place still is better than everyone other than Malnati at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead course, but he’s now done something that hasn’t been accomplished in statistics going back four decades.

After shooting 69-69-68-68 for a 10-under-par 274 total, Young now has seven such finishes. That’s the most second-place finishes in the past 40 years without a victory.

In the final round, Young made birdies on holes 11, 12 and 14 to jump into contention and remained there standing on the 18th tee. He blew his tee shot way left, the ball coming to rest on trampled-down mulch where fans had been walking all week. He hit a pitching wedge up and over a clump of large trees, his ball landing on the green, 50 feet from the pin. His birdie attempt ended 10 feet short and he missed the par putt, settling for bogey.

That meant Malnati needed only a bogey on the last hole to win, but he eventually made par to win by two shots.

Young was the PGA Tour’s 2022 Rooke of the Year. That year he finished second at the Open Championship, a shot behind Cameron Smith. He also finished second by two shots that year at the Genesis Invitational and the Wells Fargo Championship. Other runner-up results include the 2021 Sanderson Farms Championship, 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic and the 2023 WGC–Dell Technologies Match Play.

With tears in his eyes, Peter Malnati reflects on his first win in 9 years, and is giddy about the doors it’s opened

Young didn’t have time to dwell on the emotions of finishing second again. He had plenty of other things to worry about shortly after he signed his scorecard in the final round.

“Honestly, I realised I wasn’t going to win pretty quickly,” he said, “and I have a four-hour drive home with a 1 and a 2-year-old, so whatever emotions [I have] are attached to that.”