U.S. Open 2024: Patrick Cantlayโ€™s 65 is the lowest score heโ€™s shot in 4 months. Details ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

By | June 14, 2024

U.S. Open 2024: Patrick Cantlay’s 65 is his lowest score in four months. Read more ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

PINEHURST, N.C. โ€“ Is it a stretch to think that Patrick Cantlay was inspired by the vibe of his friend, PGA Championship winner Xander Schaufel? That watching his buddy break through to the biggest stage after several critical situations gave him a sense of purpose and a deeper desire to win his major title?

Maybe, or maybe not, but you can forgive us for looking for some explanation for what we saw Thursday when Cantlay grabbed the lead at the 2024 U.S. Open with a 65 on Pinehurst No. 2 Course. which was supposed to be showing its teeth to one and all. Cantlay hasn’t struggled in the major championships in the past, having success in all eight he’s played in. However, he doesn’t have any yellow Wikipedia marks and has never finished in the top ten. What’s more, his recent form doesn’t give much indication that this was a passing fancy: The last time he shot a 65 was in February when he finished tied for fourth at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera. He tied for third at the RBC Heritage, but other than that his results have been average to passable. But he was impressive on Thursday, with six birdies and just one bogey, and he nearly got it done on his first nine holes, the final one of the day. He shot 31, and his three birdies from that side were nearly identical: a 5-foot approach on the first, a 19-inch approach on the fifth and a 4-foot approach on the eighth. The strange outing was a 20-footer for birdie on the sixth, and he nearly repeated the feat on the ninth for a shot at the shortest U.S. Open round in Pinehurst history.

Cantlay was mostly evasive in his post-round comments, saying he “played very solid most of the time” and that “usually if you make a few changes and work hard, it’s just a matter of time.” ยป

“I think on this golf course I’ll end up putting shorter than 8 feet,” he later told TV, having appeared this week to test four different putters. “Distances range from 4 feet to 8 feet. It’s important to get revenge. I did well today. โ€

Despite this great result, he knows the rest of the week won’t be fun. “We knew we were going to start at 7:40 a.m., and it was probably the calmest match we’ve had, with no wind, so it might be the easiest match we’ve had all week,” he said. “With the Bermuda greens and no rain in the forecast, we expect the golf course to be very challenging over the next few days.”

At the 2011 Congressional Tournament, Cantlay was the last amateur to win the U.S. Open, joining three other players who held the honor: Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Matt Fitzpatrick, who later won the tournament. The bad news for Cantlay is that if his score holds up, it would be the sixth time in his PGA Tour career that he has led or co-led after 18 holes, and to date he converts those chances to 0 on 5, including at this year’s Genesis Invitational.
But perhaps Schauffele’s inspiration will trump that statistic; on a course that promises to be extremely tough over the next three days, a fast start is paramount, and so far no one has come through the gates like Cantlay.

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