Monday, June 7th, 2021. 11:55 AM
American Patrick Cantlay captured a 4th career title by winning the prestigious Memorial Tournament which ended on Sunday, on the majestic fairways of the Murfield Village course in Dublin, Ohio. A par on the first overtime hole was enough to beat compatriot Collin Morikawa, who missed a putt about 6 feet, ending hostilities.
It has been an emotional week, particularly following the forced withdrawal of Jon Rahm, who tested positive for COVID-19, on Saturday afternoon, as he held a comfortable 6-stroke lead at the top of the standings with a only round to go. However, the tournament organizing committee had notified Rahm last Monday that he was under close surveillance, since he had been in contact with a person declared positive. He was allowed to play, but had to undergo daily drug tests and avoid closed areas on the competition site. Everything was going well until he was tested positive on Saturday when he completed his 3rd round brilliantly with a card of 64. Following a 2nd check, organizers told Rahm that he was to withdraw from the tournament and follow the protocol put in place by the PGA Tour.
This bad luck deprived Rahm of a 6th career title and a purse of $ 1,675,000, not to mention that he would settle at the top of the FedEx Cup standings if he won more than likely. It is a real nightmare for the Spanish athlete, who will have to wait ten days before knowing if he will be able to play the United States Open, scheduled for June 16 to 19 in San Diego.
This unexpected withdrawal rekindled the hope of victory for several competitors, who believed they had to play for 2nd place when Rahm moved to the top of the standings with a minus-18 record after 54 holes. Cantlay and Morikawa automatically came face to face, while Scottie Scheffler and Branden Grace also invited themselves to the party in the final round. Cantlay lost command 3 times in the final round, but recovered in time with a 28-foot putt on the 71st hole of the tournament to force overtime. Morikawa saved the furniture 3 times towards the very end, but was not showing his best game in this final. His lack of control undoubtedly cost him the victory. He can always console himself with a purse beyond a million dollars for his 2nd place.
On the side of Cantlay, this triumph allows him to return to the world top-10 (15th to 7th) and to settle at the top of the general classification. He will undoubtedly be among the favorites at the American Open in 2 weeks.
Great victory for Stephen Ames on the Champions Tour
Delayed 7 strokes on the eve of the final round, Canadian Stephen Ames brought down a card of 67 in the final round of the Charity Principal Classic to finally win by one stroke in front of his compatriot Mike Weir. It was a 2nd career victory for the now 57-year-old athlete. Leader with only one round to go, Tim Herron has committed no less than 3 bogeys in his last 5 holes and was capped by the Canadian duo at the finish line.
Place in the Palmetto Championship
Replacing the Canadian Open which had to be canceled for a 2nd consecutive season, players from the PGA Tour are invited to Ridgeland, South Carolina, for the presentation of the Palmetto Championship. Several top players will be taking their leave on the eve of the 3rd Major of the season, but Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka will still be in action, as will Tyrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Danny Willett, Sungjae Im, David Hearn. and Nick Taylor to name a few.
You will be able to follow the progress of the 3rd and 4th rounds of this tournament, Saturday and Sunday, on RDS.