Patrick Cantlay worked an entire season to earn a four-stroke advantage over Jon Rahm as they entered the Tour Championship. As it turned out, he needed it in order to win not only the event, but the FedEx Cup title – and the $US15 million prize – with it.
Cantlay and Rahm separated themselves from the field on day three at East Lake, and today, no one put any real pressure on the pair, effectively making it matchplay late in the proceedings as the lead was narrowed to a single stroke when Cantlay bogeyed the ninth hole. From there the duo went on a parade of pars until Cantlay broke the monotony with a birdie at 16. A bogey save on 17 still allowed him to lead by one, and then his birdie on the final hole clinched the title.
Befitting a season-long champion, most aspects of Cantlay’s game were on point at East Lake Golf Club. He ranked third in strokes gained/off-the-tee with his 9.5-degree Titleist TS3 driver with a Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60 TX shaft. He also ranked sixth in strokes gained/approach-the-green thanks to his Titleist 718 AP2 irons with True Temper Dynamic Gold 120 Tour Issue X100 shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips. In all, Cantlay led the field in greens in regulation, hitting 56 of 72 greens for a 77.78 percentage.
Interestingly, the one area of Cantlay’s game not clicking in its entirety was his putting. A week after setting the all-time strokes gained/putting mark for a single tournament with his Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5 mallet, he was modestly on the negative side of the ledger in strokes gained/putting for the week, but did make the clutch six-footer at 16 when he needed it most and then a nervy bogey save at the 17th that kept him in the lead – and eventually go on to be the FedEx Cup champion.
What Patrick Cantlay had in the bag at the 2021 Tour Championship:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist TS3 (Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60 TX), 9.5 degrees
3-wood: Titleist 915F, 15 degrees
Hybrid: Titleist TS2, 21 degrees
Irons (4-9): Titleist 718 AP2; (PW): Titleist Vokey SM7
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52 degrees); Titleist SM8 (56, 61 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5
PHOTO: Sam Greenwood