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Patrick Cantlay outlived Bryson DeChambeau to win the BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland.
Cantlay defeated DeChambeau in a sudden death playoff to take his third PGA Tour win of the season.
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The fifth playoff hole summed up how the evening unfolded. DeChambeau made the first tee and saw his ball land six feet from the flagpole. Cantlay then stepped to the tee and did it one more time.
The breakthrough finally came when Cantlay made a long birdie putt on the sixth playoff hole. DeChambeau, who struggled with his putter in the clutch all day, couldn’t find the mark from within ten feet.
BMW championship standings
1. Patrick Cantlay (-27)
2. Bryson DeChambeau (-27)
3. Sungjae Im (-23)
4. Rory McIlroy (-22)
5. Erik van Rooyen (-21)
T6. Dustin Johnson (-20)
T6. Sergio Garcia (-20)
8. Sam Burns (-19)
T9. Alex Noren (-18)
T9. Jon Rahm (-18)
T9. Abraham Ancer (-18)
Full scoreboard via PGAtour.com
On Sunday, the final round started to become a two-horse race between Cantlay and DeChambeau after leading on 54 holes. Sungjae Im was three shots back in third place.
Not only did the pair continue to distance themselves from the rest of the field, but they also engaged in a dramatic head-to-head battle as the round progressed. The different playing styles for Cantlay and DeChambeau made for an entertaining game of chess.
Tim Gavrich @TimGavrich
Lost in the observations about Cantlay giving up 20+ yards to DeChambeau, is the fact that that means Cantlay gets to hit first of any par 4 or 5 fairway. When it’s that one-on-one, you definitely want to hit first and pressure the other guy.
The pair were even through the first nine before DeChambeau moved forward with three straight birdies after making the turn to number 10. Cantlay dropped a 22-foot birdie putt at number 14 to take part of the lead.
They remained in a 15-hole deadlock before Cantlay lost valuable ground at number 16.
He hooked his first two shots in the rough and shot past the green with his approach. Dealing with a difficult lie of simply saving couples has been a challenge for the Long Beach, California resident. His nine-foot putt found the bottom of the cup to keep him under at 27.
DeChambeau, on the other hand, was money on a 13-footer to earn a birdie. He bounced back nicely after seeing his second-shot approach land far below the green.
Cantlay then missed a golden opportunity to climb back to the top of the standings.
DeChambeau’s tee shot at number 17 didn’t make it to the green, and he hit his chip heavily from the rough on his way to a bogey. Cantlay was unable to capitalize as his tee shot bounced into the water. He limited the damage with a bogey to stay within one shot of DeChambeau on his way to the 18th tee.
DeChambeau’s ride at No. 18 bounced to a stop on the fairway after traveling 333 yards. Cantlay also found the fairway and left himself with a 22-foot birdie putt after hitting the green.
Cantlay’s hopes of forcing a playoff rested completely on that putt and he came on the attack again.
DeChambeau could have questioned Cantlay’s exploits as he still had a birdie chance. However, his putt rolled well to the left side of the cup and he had to settle for a par.
Cantlay nearly pulled another rabbit out of his hat on the first playoff hole. After a bad approach left him in the thick stuff, he saw his chip roll toward the hole and run down the right lip.
Cantlay’s magic carried over to the second playoff hole. He interrupted his approach and finished on the front end of the green, 54 feet from the flagstick.
DeChambeau, meanwhile, was not far from hollowing out in two.
Despite being in the driver’s seat, the 2020 US Open champion was unable to close the door because his seven-foot birdie putt was off target.
On the fourth playoff hole, the shoe was on the other side, as DeChambeau had to rally after slashing his drive into the creek that ran along the fairway. Cantlay was unable to convert the birdie putt that won the tournament.
Together they made for perhaps the most dramatic end of the year.
Now that the BMW Championship has ended, all roads lead to Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club for the Tour Championship.
In addition to the battle for the FedEx Cup, the final stop of this season will help to respective squads for the 2021 Ryder Cup.