Memorial Tournament 2021: Patrick Cantlay Defeats Collin Morikawa in Playoff for Win

Chris Condon/PGA TOUR

After a wild day of playoff basketball in the NBA, the PGA Tour decided to have a playoff of its own. 

Patrick Cantlay won the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio for the second time on Sunday in the first playoff hole, topping Collin Morikawa. Both players shot 13 under for the tournament in regulation holes. 

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

A knack for Jack’s Place 🏆@Patrick_Cantlay has won @MemorialGolf for the second time.

It’s his fourth career victory. pic.twitter.com/BvKRSt0Knl

Cantlay had a shot to wrap things up on the 18th, but his long birdie attempt rolled inches wide:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

For the win on the 72nd hole … pic.twitter.com/1blDRAESP9

He quickly exorcised that demon with an excellent par putt from a similar distance on the first playoff hole, however, putting the onus on Morikawa to match with a par putt of his own. Morikawa just missed his effort, giving Cantlay the win.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

The fourth player with multiple victories this season.@Patrick_Cantlay defeats Collin Morikawa on the first playoff hole to win @MemorialGolf. pic.twitter.com/2is4NM6XI8

Jason Sobel @JasonSobelTAN

Big exhale from Patrick Cantlay as Collin Morikawa misses his par attempt on the first playoff hole and he is the Memorial Tournament champion for the second time in three years and now a four-time winner on the PGA Tour.

trey wingo @wingoz

Did not see that coming after the tee shots on the 1st playoff hole. Congrats to Patrick Cantlay

Scottie Scheffler (-11), Branden Grace (-10) and Patrick Reed (-8) rounded out the top five. 

Cantlay and Morikawa couldn’t have been much more even on Sunday, each shooting 1-under par during regulation holes. Morikawa took the lead after a birdie on the 15th, only to watch Cantlay pull even with a clutch birdie of his own on the 17th.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Equally as clutch.@Collin_Morikawa sinks his par putt to remain tied heading to the 72nd hole. pic.twitter.com/n7Lp6u2mqz

It came down to one playoff putt, and Cantlay managed to sink it. 

He acknowledged that Sunday likely would have been far different if Jon Rahm—who was heading into the final round with a six-stroke lead before he was forced to withdraw from the tournament after being informed immediately after his third round that he had tested positive for COVID-19—would have been able to play. 

“Such a weird situation, and so unfortunate because everyone knows—me included—it would have been a totally different day had that not happened,” Cantlay said on the CBS broadcast after the playoff. “But there’s nothing I can do about it and I just tried as hard as I could to reset and really get focused.”

GOLFonCBS @GOLFonCBS

“For someone that’s the best to play the game, arguably, it means a lot. He has helped me a lot.”@Amanda_Balionis speaks with Patrick Cantlay about his relationship with Jack Nicklaus after his win at @MemorialGolf. pic.twitter.com/MunuG96BIT

The legendary Jack Nicklaus, host of the Memorial Tournament, said earlier on Sunday he felt awful for Rahm.

“Everybody here is devastated. It’s a terrible thing to have happen,” he told reporters. “Jon handled it very well. He’s a big boy. He understands that we have rules. And unfortunately, those are not something that you really may like, but those are the rules that we have right now. … We’re sad for him, but the round will go on.”

Obviously, there’s no guarantee that Rahm would have defended his lead, though giving away six strokes on a day when the winner shot just one under would have been unlikely. 

Regardless, Cantlay isn’t giving his win away. Given the circumstances, he earned it. 

The PGA Tour will continue next week with the Palmetto Championship at the Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland, South Carolina. 

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