Cantlay claims Memorial victory as Tiger shares ninth spot

By Sports Desk June 02, 2019

Patrick Cantlay won the Memorial Tournament by two strokes, while Masters champion Tiger Woods finished in the top 10.

After two consecutive third-place finishes, Cantlay finally topped the leaderboard following his eight-under-par 64 on Friday.

Cantlay was bogey-free in his final round and fired off eight birdies to capture his second PGA Tour title.

"It feels great," he said. "It's been a while since I've won, almost a year and a half, and being able to win on this golf course, a golf course that I really like and in front of Jack [Nicklaus] and making that putt on the last hole, I can't tell you how good it feels.

"It validates my confidence that I can play with the best players in the world. Beating a field like this on a big golf course like this, this is very similar to a major championship set up."

Cantlay finished 19 under overall, two shots clear of Australian Adam Scott, who closed the tournament with a four-under-par 68.

Scott nearly caught up to Cantlay after three consecutive birdies on the 14th through to the 16th hole put him two strokes off the lead.

Former world number one Scott was close to a birdie putt on the par-four 17th but the ball skirted just past the hole. He saved par but was unable to eagle 18.

Martin Kaymer, who was the 54-hole leader, finished fifth at 12 under following his 69, a stroke ahead of Hideki Matsuyama (72).

Three-time major champion Jordan Spieth (73) and Jason Dufner (69) tied for seventh place at 10 under.

American superstar Woods (67) was a stroke further back as he highlighted the four-way tie for ninth position.

Woods opened the day with five birdies on the front nine, including back-to-back birdies on the second and third holes and again right before the turn on the seventh and eighth.

The 15-time major winner carded two more birdies on the back nine and a pair of bogeys to end the event.

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    The 2017 champion went around Royal Portrush in 67 on Friday and is five under for the tournament, which was four back of the leading score.

    Spieth also tied fourth in 2015 and was co-leading heading into the final round at Carnoustie a year ago before falling away and finishing in a tie for ninth. 

    "It's pretty much the style of golf," Spieth replied when asked about his performances in The Open. 

    "I always get pumped up for major championships, clearly I try to peak for majors and then this style of golf I've always found to fit my game pretty well.

    "I just grew up in the wind, having to play a lot of different shots and using imagination around the greens on the course I grew up at. 

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    Spieth's American compatriot Brooks Koepka – who has gone 2-1-2 in the majors in 2019 – also made it back to the clubhouse at five under.

    The four-time major winner feels he would be higher on the leaderboard had he been hotter with the putter over the opening two days.

    "I didn't make a putt all week. I just need to figure that out. If I can make some putts I could very easily be 10 under and really maybe more," he said.

    "I haven't made anything. On the front nine I didn't hit it as good as I'd like. I didn't pitch it as good. It's tough to really score if you're going to do that.

    "It's frustrating. You've just got to stay patient and just wait your turn, just like I did on 12 and 13 [where he made back-to-back birdies]. I haven't really hit anything too close yet, either.

    "I feel like some of my good shots have just been a little too far away from the hole. So, if I can just clean it up just the slightest little bit I could be off and running."

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    Asked if he had ever endured a similar loss of form before, the 37-year-old replied: "Never. That was the first one. The first one of that extent.

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    Holmes believes his return to the top of his game owes much to the Dunluce Links course, which he has tamed better than most over the first two days.

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    Overnight leader Holmes backed up his opening 66 with a three-under 68 at Royal Portrush.

    Irishman Lowry was at the same score having birdied four of his first five holes in an electric opening to his round on Friday.

    Westwood matched the seven under through two rounds posted by Tommy Fleetwood as the early starters capitalised on favourable scoring conditions.

    Justin Rose was at six under and had one hole remaining, with Cameron Smith and Justin Harding back home at the same score.

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