World ranking (current/end of year)
Current 2020 Stats
FedEx Cup Rank: 29th
Top 10: 2
Top 25: 4
Made Cut: 5
Off-The-Tee: 43rd (2019: 18th, 2018: 10th, 2017: 11th)
Approach: 6th (2019: 10th, 2018: 19th, 2017: 27th)
Around The Green: 50th (2019: 6th, 2018: 59th, 2017: 100th)
Putting: 97th (2019: 26th, 2018: 153rd, 2017: 68th)
Tee-To-Green: 6th (2019: 5th, 2018: 10th, 2017: 15th)
Total: 8th (2019: 2nd, 2018: 19th, 2017: 9th)
Since a low-key start to the new season with T40 at the Safeway Open, Cantlay has been quietly impressive with a second, a fourth, T11 and T17 in four subsequent starts. After missing the first two legs of the Florida Swing, he'd opened with a 5-under 67 at THE PLAYERS before play was curtailed so was rather giving the impression of someone starting to really step it up before The Masters. The World No. 7 hasn't quite been as impressive off the tee this season but his stellar approach play gets better year-on-year and he's continued the trend. Tee-to-green he remains in elite company but the same consistency can't be found in his putting. It improved last season but he's not rolled it with the same authority so far in 2020.
Grade so far: B
Patrick Cantlay 2020 quotes
Pebble Beach (on his play since sitting out the 2015 and 2016 seasons with a back injury): “I've played really well the last three years since I've come back, really consistently, had some chances to win, won a couple events, and qualified for the Presidents Cup team and played well there (three points) and that was really fun and really exciting. So I would say all in all, it's been good. And I feel like now I've seen all the golf courses multiple times in multiple weather conditions for two or three years now, which I think is an advantage, and I'm excited to go back to all those places that I like to play with the experience that I have now and the confidence that I have now and see what I can do.”
Genesis Invitational (on his consistency): “Well, I think a lot of it's how I prepare. I don't play too many events, so I can get up for every event that there is and feel like I'm totally ready and prepared to play the event. That's just kind of how I go about things. And I think even looking at stats last year, just all the parts of my game are really solid. If one part's down on a day, the other parts kind of bring me back up. You know, I'm also kind of like that a little bit demeanor-wise, I'm just always plodding along and going along, so it doesn't really surprise me or anything. Yeah, I think it's a combination of a couple things.”
Genesis Invitational (on swing and being low-maintenance): “Seems likes I'm always working on the same stuff in my swing, which isn't much, but tempo-related stuff and a little bit on just keeping my hands low because sometimes I have a tendency to get high. I don't switch around or work on too much stuff. I always try and make sure my numbers are dialed in, and we'll use TrackMan to help my distances in my practice. No, I don't work on too much, I just try and get the ball in the hole as fast as I can.”
THE MAJORS (most recent result on the left)
The Masters: 9-MC-DNP-DNP-DNP-DNP-DNP-47
After finishing as low amateur (T47) on his Augusta debut in 2012, Cantlay had to wait until 2018 to drive down Magnolia Lane again. After that MC, he showed the makings of a green jacket winner last year when holding the lead on the back nine before slipping to T9. Also note that he shot a 64 in round three in 2019 (just one off the course record) and in two of his three Masters (2012 and 2019), Cantlay has ranked in the top five for Putting Average so he putts the super-slick Augusta greens extremely well (NB: Also a winner at Memorial which has fast putting surfaces). He said as much after his Saturday 64 last year: "I love this place. I love fast greens and I love when the greens are really slopey, it's easier for me to see the ball going into the hole, see the ball breaking into the hole. So, yeah, I love this golf course."
PGA Championship: 3-27-33
As a Californian, 2020 venue Harding Park in San Francisco represents something of a home game for Cantlay. His record in the Golden State is strong with seven top 21s in his last nine starts there. He's improved his position in each of his three PGA starts, posting his best finish in any major when tied third at Bethpage in 2019.
U.S. Open: 21-45-DNP-DNP-DNP-DNP-DNP-41-21
A cool temperament and solid all-round game is traditionally a great recipe for a U.S. Open winner so it would be no surprise if Cantlay's breakthrough at major level should come in this one. He's 4-for-4, finishing low amateur in Rory's Congressional romp in 2011 and matching that T21 finish at Pebble Beach last year.
Open Championship: 41-12
Cantlay is 11-for-12 in the majors and has made both cuts across the pond to show that his game travels well too. Back to that word 'consistency' and his round scores in Open Championships read 70-71-70-70-70-71-71-74, helping him to T12 at Carnoustie in 2018 and T41 at Royal Portrush last year.