There aren’t many better three-year stretches of late at one PGA Tour tournament than Patrick Cantlay at the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open.
All he’s done is gone 1st-2nd-2nd each from 2017-2019. Those close calls may be eating at him a bit, but he can take solace knowing he’s got it done at TPC Summerlin before.
“Yeah, there are a lot of scoring opportunities out here and a lot of holes fit my eye off the tee,” Cantlay was quoted by ASAP Sports in 2018. “I feel like I can be really aggressive and drive it down there far and in the fairway. If I can do that, hitting wedges close is easy from there.”
His win in 2017 was the first of his PGA Tour career. He fired 67-71-70-67 and won in a three-man playoff with Alex Cjeka and Meenwhee Kim.
Cantlay took advantage of better conditions a year later to improve by nine shots, only to fall by one to Bryson DeChambeau.
Another close call went away from Cantay in 2019 when rounds of 66-64-63-68 got him into a playoff that he lost on the second hole to Kevin Na.
Those two players reaching a playoff show how different styles can win at TPC Summerlin. Cantlay led the field in strokes gained off the tee (5.253) while Na had it going with his putter.
Cantlay bombed driver to the tune of 330.8 yards of driving distance, good for fourth.
Coming to this event could be just the shot in the arm Cantlay needs. The 28-year-old Californian has made five of six cuts since play resumed in June, but T-7th at the Workday Charity Open is his lone top 10.
He’s kept a fairly light schedule and took two weeks off after the U.S. Open, so look for Cantlay to get reinvigorated here in Vegas.