Patrick Cantlay of the United States walks up the 17th hole during the pro-am prior to the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club on July 27, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. — AFP pic
Thursday, 28 Jul 2022 5:23 AM MYT
LOS ANGELES, July 28 — World number four Patrick Cantlay on Wednesday denied he was planning a move to LIV Golf without entirely closing the door on a future move to the rebel circuit rocking the game.
“I don’t have any plans at the moment to leave after the FedExCup,” Cantlay said when asked on the eve of the US PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit to address rumors he might be headed to the Saudi-funded series spearheaded by Greg Norman.
He said hearing his name linked to the controversial circuit that offers star players guaranteed appearance money as well as massive purses wasn’t a source of concern.
“I don’t take too much stock in outside noise,” said Cantlay, who acknowledged that the money up for grabs in LIV Golf — which on Wednesday announced plans for a 14-event league in 2023 — was certainly notable.
“I think anytime anyone’s playing their profession, money’s a big contributing motivator,” Cantlay said.
Cantlay scooped the US$15 million (RM66.8 million) FedEx Cup playoffs prize last season, edging Spain’s Jon Rahm in the Tour Championship finale after beating Bryson DeChambeau in an epic playoff at the BMW Championship earlier in the playoffs.
Cantlay finished last season with four US PGA Tour titles, getting the Player of the Year nod from his peers.
So far this season, Cantlay has one victory — alongside Xander Schauffele in the Zurich Classic team event — along with eight other top-10 finishes.
Two of those were runner-up finishes, and Cantlay said there’s still plenty of time for 2022 to turn into another landmark campaign for him.
“In a weird way, I’ve had a lot more opportunities this year to win, which is both encouraging and disappointing,” he said. “I would have liked to have closed out more of those tournaments, but that’s how golf is,” said Cantlay, who is the highest-ranked player in the field at Detroit Golf Club.
“My game’s in a really good spot. I’ve been trying to double down on the process that got me to where I am, not change a whole lot and just look for small incremental improvements and I think the consistent play I’ve had this year is a testament to that.
“Last year I was having a very average season until Memorial or very poor season for me and I won Memorial and then won BMW and the TOUR Championship and all of a sudden it was the best year I’ve ever had and I won PGA Tour Player of the Year,” he added.
“So golf is very interesting in that a week or two weeks could change, change the whole trajectory of your whole year.” — AFP