Yesterday, golf fans received an early Christmas present. Patrick Cantlay and Bryson Dechambeau dueled fiercely throughout the fourth round of the BMW Championship, leading to a 6-hole playoff. During that duel we saw Bryson being a baby, Cantlay with nerves of steel, and epic chokes.
We will start at the 14th hole, where the fireworks began. As Bryson walked up to address his shot, he saw Cantlay walking past him in his peripheral vision. Being the weirdo he is, Bryson said “Patrick can you stop walking”. Flash forward to the green, Cantlay walked in a long birdie in retaliation.
They continued battling up until the par 3 17th. Cantlay hit his tee shot into the water. This set Dechambeau up for a 2 shot lead. Cantlay dropped in the penalty zone and went up and down saving bogey, while Bryson also made a bogey to stay up by just 1 stroke.
Cantlay needed to gain a stroke on 18 in order to force a playoff. Both had putts for birdies. Cantlay had a 21 foot putt and of course, he nailed it. It brought the pressure on Bryson as he then had a putt to win, but as we will see down the line, he missed. To the playoff we go. But first, I want to emphasize the significance of this tournament.
This is the second round of the 2021 FedEx Cup playoffs, it carries 2,000 FedEx points. Basically, the winner of this tournament takes over the number 1 seed, which gives the winner an advantage over the field in the Tour Championship this weekend.
Not to mention, the crowds were absolutely electric yesterday. Bryson has a lot of fans all over the golf world, but after the comment to Patrick on 14, the atmosphere changed. Here's the crowd reaction to Cantlay’s putt on 18.
The first playoff hole was on 18. Both got to the pin in two, but Bryson had a putt while Cantlay had a chip from the rough. Cantlay lined up for the chip for his birdie attempt, and nearly holed it, setting up an easy par attempt. Bryson had a good look for birdie and the win, but for the second straight hole Bryson missed the winning putt.
The fireworks continued on the fourth playoff hole where Bryson found the water on his tee shot. This set Cantlay up for the win as he had a longer putt for birdie, but on Dechambeau’s 3rd shot he had an awesome save and put it within 5 feet. Cantlay missed for birdie and settled for par, so did Bryson.
Going into the fifth playoff hole the players walked up to the par 3 third again. Bryson pulled out a wedge and put it within 6 feet on a great shot. The crowd erupted and many thought this tournament was over, until Cantlay’s shot. Cantlay pulled an 8 iron and one-upped Dechambeau, putting it within 2 feet! They both sank their putts for birdies and we went to the 6th and eventual final playoff hole.
Onto the last playoff hole, both players walked up to the green provided with a standing ovation being provided by the fans. Cantlay again had a long putt for birdie while Bryson had a shorter putt for birdie. It felt like the 18th hole all over again, but this time it was Cantlay putting for the lead and not the tie. He nailed the putt and finally some emotion was shown, with a Tiger-esque fist pump. After the putt, it was up to Bryson to nail his birdie attempt and continue the legendary playoff. Being the player that he is, the pressure got to Dechambeau and he missed, sending Cantlay to number one in the FedEx standings and the 2021 BMW Champion.
This playoff was one for the ages, one of the best finishes in recent memory. Not only was it a good finish, it was an important one. It sets up Cantlay in a great position to be the FedEx Cup champion if he performs well next week. One last note on this tournament: having the fans back made everything better, since they provided awesome reactions and roars.