Patrick Cantlay has treated the Shriners Children’s Open like an ATM. He won in his tournament debut in 2017 and rattled off second, second, and T-8th the next three years. Cantlay skipped in 2021 but is back to his familiar stomping grounds.
The Californian is coming off a season that finished strong with a repeat win at the BMW Championship en route to a seventh-place finish in the FedEx Cup. Cantlay was the 2020-21 season-long champ and Player of the Year.
This is the former UCLA Bruin’s 2022-23 debut. We last saw Cantlay go 3-1-0 for the victorious American side at the Presidents Cup a couple weeks ago. He and buddy Xander Schauffele went 2-1-0 and Cantlay beat Adam Scott in Sunday singles.
Cantlay’s now at the site of his first PGA Tour win in 2017. He fired 67-71-70-67 and won a three-man playoff with Alex Cejka and Meenwhee Kim.
Cantlay took advantage of better conditions a year later to improve his score 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 couldn’t quite contend to the end at the 2020 Shriners despite sharing the 54-hole co-lead. He posted rounds of 63-65-65-73 to finish T-8th.
“…it really rewards driving the ball in the fairway. A lot of the tee shots look good to me here, so I do play from the fairway a lot around here,” Cantlay was quoted by ASAP Sports in 2020. “Just feels like — you know, some courses you play and you feel like you can make a bunch of birdies, you feel like there are a lot of birdies holes out there. For me out here it feels like almost every hole is a birdie hole … I have a lot of confidence here, so I’ve played well.”
That’s all I need to hear to like Cantlay’s chances at earning win No. 9.