Golf: McIlroy speaks after shot accidentally hits father
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Patrick Cantlay has opened up on the moment tournament rival Bryson DeChambeau snapped at him on the back nine of the final round at the BMW Championship. The two Americans were engaged in a tense battle at the top of the leaderboard and it took a thrilling six-hole playoff to eventually split them.
It was Cantlay who came out on top over his soon-to-be Ryder Cup colleague, though DeChambeau will feel it was an opportunity missed after spurning four putts which would have won the tournament.
But before all that there was a moment where the latter appeared to call out his rival, as he lined up his approach shot on the 14th hole.
DeChambeau had set himself to flick his ball onto the green, but suddenly stepped away and called out to Cantlay who appeared to have entered his eyeline.
“Patrick, can you stop walking?” he asked abruptly, before taking a couple of practice swings and stepping back up to his ball.
Cantlay didn’t give any obvious response at the time – apart from nailing a 21-foot putt on the same hole to the delight of the crowd at Caves Valley in Baltimore.
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When asked about the incident after the tournament was over, he attempted to downplay what had happened.
He said: “He just wanted me to stop walking. We had just been told by the rules officials to kind of speed up, and I’m not always the fastest walker, so I was trying to get ahead and do my part.
“No big deal. That stuff kind of happens every once in a while out here.”
DeChambeau, who is currently exercising a media blackout and has not spoken to the press since he made controversial comments about not taking the Covid-19 vaccine, has not commented on the incident.
Commentator Paul Azinger said he was “surprised he called Patrick out like that”, and hypothesised it may had affected his own focus.
“Really, that can break your own concentration when you call a guy out like that,” he said on air.
There were more awkward incidents between the pair on Sunday, with DeChambeau caught on camera rolling his eyes as Cantley lined up a putt and a very brief and tense handshake after the round as they barely acknowledged each other.
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If there was any drama in those small moments, it was nothing compared to the battle between the two on the course as they fought for the BMW Championship title.
DeChambeau missed his birdie putt on the 18th with a one-shot lead, giving Cantlay the chance to force a playoff with another 21-foot special, and he accepted the invitation.
Bryson then had two more chances to seal the win on the second and third holes of the playoff, but missed both before pulling off a tremendous recovery on the fourth after hitting the water hazard with his tee shot.
It was in the sixth hole of the playoff that Cantlay’s putting prowess paid off again, as he nailed a 17-yarder to secure birdie and the trophy as his opponent missed from eight feet.
While they were rivals here, they will be teammates next month as they have both qualified automatically for the US Ryder Cup team.
Captain Steve Stricker might have his work cut out if their frosty relationship continues into the tournament at Whistling Straits.
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