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AFP
October 27, 2020

Cantlay holds off Rahm, Thomas to capture PGA Zozo crown

Sports

AFP
October 27, 2020

LOS ANGELES: Patrick Cantlay held off Spain’s second-ranked Jon Rahm and third-ranked US compatriot Justin Thomas on Sunday to capture to Zozo Championship for his third career US PGA title.

The 28-year-old American made a career-best nine birdies in firing a final-round seven-under par 65 to finish on 23-under 265 after 72 holes at Sherwood Country Club. “It means a lot. I’m really happy to have won this week,” Cantlay said. “I was hitting a lot of good shots. I really felt comfortable with my swing.”

Thomas and Rahm shared second on 266, with Thomas closing by making a four-foot birdie putt to match the Spaniard — preventing Rahm from overtaking absent Dustin Johnson for the world number one ranking.

Cantlay birdied four of the first six holes, made his first bogey of the event only on Sunday’s eighth hole, then followed it with birdies at the ninth, par-5 11th and three in a row starting at the par-3 13th.

“I’ve been playing really well the last little stretch,” Cantlay said. “I just hadn’t put it together four days in a row. “This week was different. It was nice to get off to a good start. It went pretty well.” Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner, and Rahm were each denied their third titles of the year.

“I just didn’t play very well. It’s unfortunate,” Thomas said. “To play the par-5s one-under is unacceptable when you’re trying to win. “I fought like hell. There’s no excuses other than poor execution. It just sucks when you’re right there and you don’t get it done.”

Cantlay’s prior PGA titles came in 2017 at Las Vegas and the 2019 Memorial tournament. “It feels like my game has been gearing up for this,” Cantlay said. “It’s coming together in time for the Masters.” World number 14 Cantlay holed 15-foot birdie putt at the par-4 ninth and a five-footer at 11 to stand third at 21-under.