Patrick Cantlay Rallies to Win Zozo Championship
By: Mike Stiles -
Monday, October 26, 2020
THOUSAND OAKS, CA – Patrick Cantlay felt his swing was good enough to take on any shot, and then it was a matter of making putts. He did both exceptionally well Sunday in the Zozo Championship at Sherwood for a victory he felt was overdue. Cantlay rallied from a 4-shot deficit and surged into the lead with four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine. He closed with a 7-under 65 and held on for a 1-shot victory over Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas. It was the third victory of his career, and first in his home state of California. All three required making up deficits of 3 shots or more in the final round. He was looking to join what had been shaping up as a duel between Rahm and Thomas, the Nos. 2 and 3 players in the world. Instead, Cantlay surged past them with three straight birdies: a 3-wood to the fringe on the par-5 13th that set up a simple two-putt, a 7-iron to 18 feet on the next hole and the most exquisite shot of his final round on the par-3 15th. With a three-quarter 7-iron to a front pin over a tiny rock-lined lagoon, the ball landed next to the hole and rolled out to 10 feet for his ninth birdie of the round, and only the fifth birdie at No. 15 on Sunday. Rahm took the lead with a birdie on the par-5 11th, only to drop shots on each of the next two holes, including the par-5 13th. The Spaniard had a chance to force a playoff, but narrowly missed from 15 feet on the par-3 17th and from 20 feet on the final hole. He closed with a 68. Thomas, who started the round with a 1-shot lead, had to scramble for par on the last two par-5s, and hit into hazards on consecutive holes down the stretch. His tee shot to the 15th plugged into thick grass, and Thomas did remarkably well to hack out to 30 feet and make bogey.