TOUR Championship: Patrick Cantlay Maintains 2-Shot Advantage After Day One

Patrick Cantlay Leads Tour Championship
Patrick Cantlay putts for eagle on the 18th green during the first round of the TOUR Championship at Eastlake GC on Sept 2, 2021 in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Chris Condon / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The first 18 holes of the Tour Championship are in the books, and Patrick Cantlay sits exactly where he started – atop the leaderboard, two clear of the field.

The UCLA product opened with a 3-under 67, which included four birdies against one bogey, to move to 13-under par.

“Yeah, I think I did,” said Cantlay, when asked if he accomplished his day-one goal. “And what goal I really have for this week is being process-oriented and being very present.

“I think being in the spot that I’m in, it would be easy to get ahead of yourself and easy to maybe stray from your game plan because you feel like you’re ahead, and that’s just not helpful.

“So I’m not going to do that. I’m going to stay present and I’m going to stick to my game plan and I’m going to take what the golf course gives me.”

Patrick Cantlay Leads Tour Championship
Patrick Cantlay waves his ball on the 10th green during the first round of the TOUR Championship at Eastlake GC on Sept 2, 2021 in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Ben Jared / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Red-hot Jon Rahm was alone in second-place after shooting 65, highlighted by back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18, to reach 11-under par.

“It was good,” said Rahm. “Played really good 14 holes, and then I think there was a bit of a slump on 7 through 10, but I was able to manage really well those.

“The up-and-down for bogey on 8, the up-and-down for par on 9, and the up-and-down for par on 10 were key three in a row to limit the mistakes or the damage and from then I played amazing golf.”

Harris English (66) and Bryson DeChambeau were three further back on 8 under, one clear of a trio consisting of Viktor Hovland (66), Justin Thomas (67) and Cameron Smith (68).

Kevin Na (66) and Tony Finau (72) were then tied for eighth on 6 under, one clear of a seven-player logjam at 5 under, which included defending champion Dustin Johnson (68).


2021 TOUR Championship


Top-10 Leaders

Pos-Player (Rd 1)
1. Patrick Cantlay -13 (-3)
2. Jon Rahm -11 (-5)
3. Harris English -8 (-4)
3. Bryson DeChambeau -8 (-1)
5. Viktor Hovland -7 (-4)
5. Justin Thomas -7 (-3)
5. Cameron Smith -7 (-2)
8. Kevin Na -6 (-4)
8. Tony Finau -6 (+2)
10. Billy Horschel -5 (-5)
10. Brooks Koepka -5 (-3)
10. Jason Kokrak -5 (-3)
10. Dustin Johnson -5 (-2)
10. Louis Oosthuizen -5 (-2)
10. Jordan Spieth -5 (-1)
10. Abraham Ancer -5 (-1)

Top-5 Gross Scores

1. Jon Rahm -5 (65)
1. Billy Horschel -5 (65)
3. Harris English -4 (66)
3. Viktor Hovland -4 (66)
3. Kevin Na -4 (66)

1 COMMENT

  1. With this ridiculous format it’s already looking like it might be a two man race between Patrick and Rahm. The unfairness of this format is glaring. The tour officials must be worried that Patrick might run away with it. If he’s still several shots ahead come Sunday, how many will even watch it?

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