Patrick Cantlay Named 2021 PGA Tour Player of the Year

Patrick Cantlay and Jon Rahm TOUR Championship Final Round
Jon Rahm and Patrick Cantlay on the 7th green during the final round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake GC on Sept 5, 2021 in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Sam Greenwood via Getty Images)

Patrick Cantlay was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year for the 2020-21 season.

The 29-year-old California native, who won four titles, including the final two events of the FedExCup Playoffs, beat out Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, and Harris English.

Cantlay won the Zozo Championship, the Memorial, the BMW Championship, and The Tour Championship along with the $15 million FedEx Cup.

“I think the fact that it’s voted on by my fellow PGA Tour players, I think that means a lot to me and I’m very grateful and excited to be here,” said Cantlay.

“I think it wasn’t something that I necessarily thought was on the radar middle of the year, but then I closed really well and played a lot of really nice golf towards the end.”

In addition to his four wins, Cantlay posted two additional top 5s, including a runner-up finish at the American Express and a T3 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

“I have definitely tried to learn how to close golf tournaments and I think getting there and seeing what works and what doesn’t and, you know, being able to only do the things that really help you, I think that was really big for me and I feel like I’m much better at closing golf tournaments than I was maybe a couple years ago,” said Cantlay.

“The ability to stay very present and not get ahead of yourself and really block out all the noise about anything other than the shot that you’re going to hit right now. I think that really helped me at East Lake and I definitely pulled some lessons from tournaments where I didn’t get it done to help me get it done this year.”

Rahm was the favorite to win the award based on his more consistent play, which included a mind-blowing 15 top 10s in 20 starts. In addition to a win at the U.S. Open, Rahm most assuredly would have won the Memorial but was forced to withdraw after 54 holes with a six-shot lead due to a positive COVID test. He also finished tied for first at the Tour Championship in gross score, but due to net starting strokes he finished one stroke shy of Cantlay.

Rahm also led the PGA Tour in several key statistical categories, including scoring average (69.3), official money, top-10s and birdie average, among others.

Cantlay will next play in the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

“I had never seen the golf course before and so I think it should be a really interesting golf course for match play,” said Cantlay.

“I think getting to hang a little bit with the guys and get into that team mindset, because we are so often in an individual mindset, getting together with the guys on the team I think was really cool. I’m looking forward to going back there in a week and competing.

“I’m really excited for that team golf environment. I think we rarely ever get that and that’s what makes these team events so exciting, so I’m really happy to be a part of it and looking forward to how it all plays out.”

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