Memorial win spurs Cantlay for US Open

DUBLIN (Ohio) • Patrick Cantlay finished third at the PGA Championship two weeks ago - his best finish at a Major.

On Sunday, he carried over that form into the Memorial Tournament, clinching his second PGA Tour victory after carding a closing eight-under 64 for a total of 19-under 269 to beat Australian Adam Scott (68) by two strokes.

Now he has his sights on next week's US Open, where he aims to parlay his hot streak into a good finish at Pebble Beach in his native California.

Cantlay, 27,said: "I really like Major golf. I feel like it suits my game. I feel like the golf courses, as far as I'm concerned, the rough can't be long enough, the fairways can't be narrow enough, the greens can't be fast enough."

Despite starting four strokes behind overnight leader Martin Kaymer, who ended in third with a 72, Cantlay was impeccable at Muirfield Village, firing five birdies on the front nine and adding three more coming home.

Cantlay has had to deal with traumatic experiences more than most golfers. A potentially career-ending back injury suffered in 2013 left him virtually sidelined for three years and in 2016, he witnessed the death of a close friend who was struck by a vehicle as the two were walking down a street in Newport Beach.

Admitting he was a "different person before those troubles", Cantlay felt they put golf into perspective.

He added: "I get asked questions a lot about how the difficulties with my friend Chris dying and being out so long with my back, how it affects me now.

"I can remember feeling happy-go-lucky, like everything is going to go good and during that time, I realised that you can put in a lot of good work, and good things still might not necessarily happen."

There was plenty to be optimistic about for Tiger Woods, who closed with a 67 to finish equal ninth and 10 shots behind Cantlay.

"I played really well today," Woods, 43, told CBS television. "I hit the ball so crisp and so solid and made some nice putts there on the front nine and had things rolling for a little bit."

He has a week off before heading to Pebble Beach, where he won the 2000 US Open by 15 strokes. He won the Masters in April, his 15th Major, but missed the cut at the PGA Championship at Bethpage two weeks ago.

"I wanted to have something positive going into the Open and kind of sneak up there with a nice little top 10 possibly," he said. "I was never going to win the tournament with where I was at."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2019, with the headline 'Memorial win spurs Cantlay for US Open'. Print Edition | Subscribe