Morikawa eager to savour taste of success after debut Open triumph
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Patrick Cantlay has criticised the format of the FedEx Cup play-offs and the Tour Championship, despite being crowned FedEx Cup champion and earning £11 million in prize money.
Cantlay secured the title following yesterday’s final round of the Tour Championship after finishing the tournament on 21-under-par, one shot ahead of world No 1 Jon Rahm in second place.
Victory for the American comes after he began the event with a two-shot advantage, as the finale event of the season adopts a staggered stroke start in relation to a player’s FedEx Cup standing position.
As a result, eventual winner Cantlay found himself at the top of the standings meaning he began the week 10-under-par, whilst second placed Tony Finau began on eight-under-par, third placed Bryson DeChambeau started on seven-under, and fourth placed Rahm began four shots off the lead on six-under-par.
Despite the staggered starting scoring helping the 29-year-old secure his first ever FedEx Cup title, Cantlay feels the Tour Championship format is unfair.
Following his £11 million victory he said: “I’m still not a fan of this format, I don’t think it’s a good format. I don’t like the fact that somebody else shot the lowest score this week, and they would have won the Tour Championship in years past.”
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Without the staggered strokeplay start the world No 4 would have left East Lake without the title, as the 72-hole scoring in Atlanta was led by second place Rahm and Kevin Na, who tied for the tournament on 14-under-par across the four days.
Following those two would have been Olympic champion Xander Schauffele after his final round six-under 64 saw him shoot 13-under for the week, without the use of staggered stroke start.
Without his two-shot head start, Cantlay would not have even found himself in the top three of the Tour Championship leaderboard after his 72-hole score of 11-under would have seen him finish in a tie for fourth.
Whilst the FedEx Cup champions comments following his win were a little surprising, the 29-year-old had already expressed his discontent with the format ahead of the Tour Championship’s opening round last Thursday.
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He previously commented: “I think, frankly, it’s not a good format. I think it’s obvious why they went to the format because the previous format was confusing. I think this format is less confusing. But I don’t think it’s a good format.”
The staggered start format was implemented to the FedEx Cup play-off finale in 2019, to ensure the victor of the Tour Championship was also the player crowned FedEx Cup champion, following their victory.
The last time the final tournament of the PGA Tour season started with all 30 players on level-par came in 2018, as Tiger Woods’ historic Tour Championship victory at East Lake secured the golfing great’s first PGA Tour victory in over five years.
Despite Woods’ win, it was in fact Justin Rose who came away from Atlanta as the FedEx Cup champion, as his tied-fourth finish at the event was enough to leave him with the most FedEx Cup points across the Tour campaign.
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