Golf: Cantlay tops Morikawa in play-off to win Memorial for second time in three years

Patrick Cantlay (right) shakes hands with Collin Morikawa in Ohio, US, on June 6, 2021.
Patrick Cantlay (right) shakes hands with Collin Morikawa in Ohio, US, on June 6, 2021.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

(REUTERS) - Americans Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa, who found themselves tied for first after Jon Rahm's Covid-related withdrawal, still could not decide a winner after 18 holes on Sunday (June 6) before Cantlay sunk a 12-foot putt to win the PGA Memorial Tournament on the first play-off hole in Dublin, Ohio.

Cantlay, who had narrowly missed a 24-foot birdie putt on the 18th that would have won the tournament in regulation, made the par putt in the play-off; Morikawa failed to sink his par putt from only six feet, giving Cantlay his second Memorial title in three years.

"This week was a really good week," Cantlay said. "I played very solid most every day. A little more up-and-down today. There were a few short putts, mid-range putts, that I normally would make that today I didn't, which made it a little more of a grind.

"But made a few long ones. So it ended up being just enough and a tough play-off where Collin and I were really trading blows all day. So it felt really good. I stayed within myself and comfortable and confident and I really did my best to stay present and I think I did a good job."

Morikawa and Cantlay both shot one-under 71s on Sunday, finishing at 13-under 275.

Spanish defending champion Rahm, who held the tournament's largest three-round lead, was forced to withdraw following a positive test for Covid-19.

"It was such a weird situation, so unfortunate," Cantlay said. "Everyone, me included, knows it would be totally different today if that hadn't happened.

But there's nothing I could do about it. I tried as hard as I could to reset and refocus."

Morikawa, who carded four birdies and three bogeys, hit a relatively short birdie putt on the par-five 15th to take a brief lead.

A birdie putt on No. 17 from Cantlay forced a tie with Morikawa. He sharpened his focus during a brief weather delay before stepping back on the green to nail a long, clutch putt to pull even again.

Twin pars on the last hole brought the two back to the tee at the 18th for the play-off.

"Obviously it sucks to lose a playoff," Morikawa said. "But today was a grind and that's all I could focus on. I was not hitting - I was hitting the ball well, but it didn't show that. I couldn't really hit a green for my life."

Scottie Scheffler, who tied for the lead with a birdie at No. 15, finished third after a two-under 70.

Branden Grace shot a 71 and finished fourth, while Patrick Reed's three-under 69 lifted him into fifth place.