Jack Nicklaus seems to have a special place in his heart for 2019 Memorial winner Patrick Cantlay.
When the California native won his maiden PGA Tour event in late 2017 at the Shriners, Nicklaus was one of the first to congratulate the former amateur star on social media.
“Congratulations to 2011 Jack Nicklaus Award winner Patrick Cantlay on his first PGA TOUR win,” wrote Jack Nicklaus, in a message posted to Instagram.
“I followed him at UCLA, and as an amateur, and I know a back injury has detoured him from professional success. We sat down at the Memorial this year and talked about golf, his game, and what the future held.
“He is a nice young man I’ve rooted for and I’m just delighted to see him win. This will help set the stage for greater things to come. He is now one of the successful young guns!”
Fast forward about 18 months with Cantlay capturing his second Tour title – this time at the Memorial Tournament, where Jack got to congratulate him in person, including a handshake, hug, and even a wink.
“This young man got a handshake and a hug! Been rooting for Patrick Cantlay since he won the Nicklaus Award in 2011 when with UCLA,” wrote Nicklaus in a message on Instagram.
“He might be first player to come to me and ask how to play Muirfield Village Golf Club. He played it beautifully today for a 64 (lowest final round to win) en route to a Memorial victory.
“Very special young man and so happy the Memorial became his 2nd PGA TOUR title. I think there’s many more to come!”
Patrick Cantlay, Jack Nicklaus Slideshow
This eight-media slideshow includes photos and videos of Cantlay and Nicklaus during the trophy ceremonies.
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This young man got a handshake and a hug! ? Been rooting for @patrickcantlay since he won the Nicklaus Award in 2011 when with @uclamensgolf. He might be first player to come to me and ask how to play @muirfieldvillagegolfclub. He played it beautifully today for a 64 (lowest final round to win) en route to @memorialgolf victory. Very special young man and so happy the Memorial became his 2nd @pgatour title. I think there’s many more to come! @nationwide @nationwidekids @nchcf