From tea-gate to hat-gate: the biggest outrages of 2023

This year once again had some explosive moments, because while there were open disputes among some, things became unexpectedly controversial around Tiger Woods. Patrick Cantlay was at the center of a heated situation more than once in 2023 and climate activists also made their presence felt on golf courses around the world on several occasions. A Canadian player made the acquaintance of security and Patrick Reed feels unfairly treated.

Outrages at the 2023 Ryder Cup: Patrick Cantlay’s hat-gate and McIlroy vs. LaCava

As if the Ryder Cup didn’t have enough to offer this year, Patrick Cantlay’s non-existent headgear was to take center stage in Rome. Triggered by a tweet, rumors quickly spread over the course of Saturday that the non-existent cap was a protest by Cantlay to demand money for the American players at the Ryder Cup. The 31-year-old said that the cap simply didn’t fit him, but the European fans in Rome had already found their battle cries:

The resulting heated situation erupted towards the end of the fourball between Matt Fitzpatrick/Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay/Wyndham Clark. Joe LaCava, Cantlay’s caddie and former companion of Tiger Woods, caused a stir. Inspired by the European spectators, he and the rest of the US team took off their hats after Cantlay’s birdie putt and began to twirl them above their heads. Rory McIlroy , who was on the verge of a crucial putt on 18 with which he could theoretically have equalized the match. McIlroy made his opinion clear to LaCava and there were also arguments with other members of the European team.

But it had an aftermath, because as the players, caddies and consorts were getting ready in the parking lot of the Marco Simone Golf Club for transportation to the hotel, the conflict was about to boil over again. A visibly heated Rory McIlroy wanted to let the American team know once again what he thought of LaCava’s action and snapped at Jim Mackay, Justin Thomas’ caddie, who was just leaving the clubhouse. Shane Lowry intervened and maneuvered McIlroy into the waiting car. According to McIlroy himself, he then had to cool down in an ice bath at the hotel.

Slow play heats things up

It was not only at the Ryder Cup that Patrick Cantlay was to become the focus of outrages. Cantlay did not only make positive headlines at the US Masters in April. The eight-time winner on the PGA Tour drew the ire of the other players on the final day due to his slow play. This went so far that his flight partner Viktor Hovland played his chip from next to the green on one hole before Cantlay was even close to the green. Brooks Koepka in particular, who was competing for victory with Jon Rahm in the flight behind, had few good words for his compatriot. “The group in front of us was brutally slow,” he said after losing the final round. “Jon went to the loo seven times during the round and we were still waiting.”

Cantlay was not the only cause of delays. Carlota Ciganda, who won the Solheim Cup with the European team this year, was also slow at the women’s major in France – too slow according to the referees. The Spaniard was given two penalty strokes for her slow play and was in danger of missing the cut. But Ciganda refused to accept the penalty and did not bow to the officials’ judgment. She refused to note the extra strokes and signed the scorecard anyway. She was later disqualified from the major for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Climate activism: golf courses become a target for the last generation and co

Controversial actions by climate activists, who protested several times in a prominent and media-effective manner, also accompanied the world of golf throughout the year. On European golf courses, the protests mainly took the form of damage to property. In Switzerland, the group “Grondements des Terres” (rumblings of the earth) caused a stir with vandalism and the placing of potatoes on torn up turf. On the links course at GC Budersand on the island of Sylt, the “Last Generation” also worked on the green and placed a sign saying “nature reserve” to draw attention to the renaturation of the area, which they consider necessary. DGV President Kobold criticized the action and referred to the ecosystem services provided by golf courses. And a major also became the target of activists. On day 2 of the British Open 2023, people from the “Just Stop Oil” organization blocked the 17th green of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, but were removed from the green without causing a major stir.

Tiger Woods’ tampon prank backfires

What was Tiger Woods thinking? At the Genesis Invitational in February, some people asked themselves exactly this question. It was Woods’ first regular tournament in a long time and the veteran had come up with a special “fun” idea. Together with Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, he set off on the round and things got explosive on the hole afterwards. Because when Thomas played his drive shorter than Tiger, Woods pressed a tampon into his friend’s hand as he left the tee box and they both burst out laughing. However, the incident did not go down well with everyone, especially on social media. The tampon as a sign that JT hits like a woman was seen by some as a derogatory statement about women and their golfing achievements. Tiger himself came out afterwards and apologized.

The tackle of the year

One of the most unexpected clips of this year took place at the Canadian Open. For the first time since 1954, a Canadian, Nick Taylor, won the tournament on the PGA Tour. Compatriot and fellow golfer Adam Hadwin wanted to celebrate the victory on home soil together with the newly crowned winner, but a security employee interpreted the approaching golfer as a potential danger and pulled him to the ground.

Fortunately, what looked like a lot of excitement ended without injury to Hadwin. He took the tackle with humor in Canadian style and re-enacted the scene with his wife on Halloween.

American Tour pro exposed with attempted fraud

Also in Canada, a player caused a scandal when he tried to stay in the tournament by manipulating his scorecard. At a PGA Tour Canada tournament, Justin Doeden asked for his scorecard after his round, allegedly to check something. When hole 18, a par 5, finally showed a par for Doeden on the leaderboard, his flight partners expressed their doubts to the officials about the accuracy of this score. It was revealed that Doeden had erased the 7 on the scorecard and written in a 5 in order to make the cut. His action would have had far-reaching consequences for many other players, as his alleged score would have shifted the cut line from -2 to -3, costing 13 additional players the cut. Doeden admitted his offense afterwards and called it “the biggest mistake of his life.”

Tee-Gate: Cold reunion of Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed

Rory McIlroy was not only involved in an explosive situation at the Ryder Cup at the end of the golf year, he was also involved in a dispute at the beginning of the year, but this time it was directed at him. At the Hero Dubai Desert Classic at the beginning of the year, there was a reunion between Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed, who had switched to LIV. But when the US American tried to greet the Northern Irishman on the driving range, Rory gave him the cold shoulder. An annoyed Reed then threw a tee in the direction of the four-time major winner. As unspectacular as this action looked in the video, the outrage that followed was all the greater.

The background was a legal dispute between the two professionals. Reed’s lawyer had sent McIlroy a subpoena at Christmas and had a negative impact on the holidays at McIlroy’s home. As a result, “Rors” said of the incident: “If I was in his shoes, I wouldn’t expect a hello or a handshake. I was down by my bag and he came up to me and I was busy with my work and my training and I didn’t really feel the need to say hello to him.”

“If the roles were reversed and I’d thrown the tea at him, I’d expect a lawsuit,” Rory added.


Scottie Scheffler holds the Reign in the World Golf Ranking whilst American players maintain solid footing

As the current World Golf Ranking leader, Scottie Scheffler retains his crown, Patrick Cantlay joins him atop the list as the second-ranking American player, coming in at the fifth position overall.

Xander Schauffele, Max Homa and Brian Harman Complete American Contingent

Xander Schauffele upholds his sixth position whilst Max Homa secures the eighth slot in the World Golf Ranking. Closely following, Brian Harman clinches an impressive ninth place. Wyndham Clark rounds off the unchanged Top 10.

Top Trio in the World Golf Ranking

Scottie Scheffler (USA), Rory McIlroy (NIR), and Jon Rahm (ESP) respectively secure the most sought-after top three positions. These golfers have been consistent in their performances, proving their mettle on the courses against top competitors.

Finally, turning to the rest of the top 10 players in the World Golf Ranking, Viktor Hovland (NOR) lies in fourth place completing the European block chasing Scottie Scheffler. Xander Schauffele (USA) and Matt Fitzpatrick (ENG) hold the sixth and seventh slots, respectfully. With Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth and Co. six of the spots between 11th and 20th belong to US-players underlining the dominance in the World Golf Ranking.

While these rankings illustrate current standing, golf continues to remain an unpredictable yet enthralling sport. The World Golf Ranking serves as an ever-evolving leaderboard, strengthening the inherent excitement and competition within the sport we admire.


World Golf Ranking: Scottie Scheffler remains number one, American Pros flourishing

Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay, both from the United States, continue to remain steadfast in the World Golf Ranking, sitting at positions 1 and 5 respectively. Scheffler’s spectacular form carries over with no changes in their ranking from last week.

Six US-Stars in the World’s Top Ten

Following the lead are Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Brian Harman and Wyndham Clark, ranked 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th respectively in the World Golf Ranking. The talent of the quartet remains undeniable, consistently making their mark in the top 10.

Morikawa and Bradley approach Top Ten

At the global spectrum, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Spain’s Jon Rahm occupy the second and third spots in the World Golf Ranking while Viktor Hovland from Norway safeguards the 4th spot making the European players put pressure on the US-Stars.

While the Top Ten of the Ranking remains unchanged, Collin Morikawa jumps from 13th to 12th place and Keegan Bradley from 17th to 16th, feeling their way towards the Top Ten.

World Golf Ranking is a testament to each player’s skill, determination, and hard-nosed competitiveness. As the golf world pitches and putts on, all eyes are on the upcoming shifts and sways in golf’s prestigious global rank list.

Highlights Tours Team USA

2023 Ryder Cup: Patrick Cantlay as world number 5 in portrait

Although Patrick Cantlay remained winless in the 2022/2023 season, he consistently delivered performances at the highest level and is in the top 5 of the world rankings. With this performance, he will be an important component of Team USA at the 2023 Ryder Cup. He already gained his first experience at the continental competition in 2021 and achieved a remarkable record of 3-0-1 (win-loss-draw).

Patrick Cantlay at the 2023 Ryder Cup

After Scottie Scheffler as number 1 in the world, Patrick Cantlay is the second US American to appear in the official golf world rankings. With a consistently convincing performance over the course of the season, the 31-year-old climbed up to 4th place in the meantime over the past weeks and months. In doing so, he earned one of the six team places that are automatically awarded and did not have to rely on the favor of team captain Zach Johnson.

Although Patrick Cantlay is not among the winners of the 2022/2023 season, his record over the last few months is impressive. The American, who has a German father, has made the cut in 18 of the 20 events he has played and has finished in the top 25 15 times. These top finishes include three of his four major starts: with two tied 14th places and one tied ninth place, he proved his ability in what are probably the best tournaments of the year. Thanks to these consistent results, Patrick Cantlay enters the competition as a safe bet.

Patrick Cantlay has not yet allowed himself a lapse at the Ryder Cup

This will be Patrick Cantlay’s second appearance at the Ryder Cup. In 2021, he made his debut at the popular event and actively supported Team USA on its way to victory. With three wins and a draw in four rounds played, he collected 3.5 important points for his team. Cantlay did not suffer a defeat.

The then 29-year-old scored his first point as a duo with his friend and teammate Xander Schauffele. After 15 holes played, they beat Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter in the Foursome. This was followed by a draw in the Fourball against the European competition consisting of Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland. In Saturday’s Foursome, the Cantlay/Schauffele duo was again victorious – this time against Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick. Cantlay also showed strength in his final round, the singles competition, scoring his third full point for Team USA against Shane Lowry.

Patrick Cantlay’s most remarkable career

Born in California as one of four children, Patrick Cantlay developed into a promising golf talent during his childhood and youth. After a successful amateur career, he was ranked No. 1 in the world for over a year, he turned professional in 2012 after dropping out of college. Here, over time, he became a dangerous competitor, diligently collecting victories and now has eight PGA Tour successes to his credit. Even as an amateur, he gained his first experience in team competitions with his participation in the Palmer and Walker Cups and has already been part of the Presidents Cup twice. The earnings of his entire golf career now amount to over 42 million US dollars.

Ryder Cup 2023: A look inside Patrick Cantlay’s golf bag

Like his Team USA colleagues Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay relies on Titleist. With the driver and the 5-wood of the TS series, he gets the predecessor variant of the new TSR models into his bag. His long game is complemented by the 915F 3-wood from 2015 and the brand-new T200 Driving Iron from Titleist’s 2023 T-Series. For irons, Cantlay relies on the 2017 AP2 irons from Titleist’s 718 Series. With a few tweaks, the irons impressed with their sporty cavity-back design and the precision Tour players crave when they were launched six years ago. When it comes to wedges, Cantlay also brings Titleist’s popular classic into the bag. With the Vokey Spin Milled 7 wedge in 46-degree and 52-degree versions, as well as the Vokey Spin Milled 9 wedge with 57- and 61-degree slopes, he has four all-rounders in his bag. Finally, Cantlay is on the greens with a Scotty Cameron T5 prototype. His playing ball is the Pro V1x, the same model used by many of his teammates.

Team USA

PGA Tour: Patrick Cantlay Addresses The Media Following Opening Round 66 at AT&T Pro-Am

PGA Tour professional Patrick Cantlay speaks with the media following an opening round 66 at the 2020 AT&T Pro-Am about the perfect conditions as well as his experience with the amateur players.

PGA Tour: Patrick Cantlay posts a 66 in opening round of the 2020 AT&T Pro-Am

Q. Nine birdies today on what is normally the toughest of the three golf courses. What was working so well for you today?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I played really well. I drove the ball well. I had a lot of short irons coming into the greens. I played the par-5s good on the front and then made that bogey there on 14 and got a little mud there. But all in all, played really well, made some putts, and I’m really happy with the start.

Q. Was this kind of maybe possibly one of the easier days here at Spyglass because the weather is perfect and the course is playing well?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, and we went out first, so the greens on our front nine were absolutely perfect. Course was probably the best shape I’ve ever seen it and we’re getting perfect weather, so, yeah, it’s great.

Q. Seemed a little bit of continuing good play here. Is this a continuation of what’s been going on recently?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I’ve been playing really well. I feel confident and comfortable with the game. I really like it around here. I’ve played the tournament a few times so coming back to golf courses is easier than seeing them for the first time and I like it here, so it’s all good.

Q. Playing with Kelly Slater. Is this relaxing a little bit, kind of a different way of going about your business?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, we’ve played together in this tournament before. I enjoy Kelly. He’s a great player. He rolled the rock so good today. Yeah, we both played great and it’s really fun being out here with him. He’s such a great champion and, obviously, the best to ever compete at his sport, which is beyond impressive, so it’s a real pleasure to be out here with him.

Q. Do you pick his brain about some of that stuff, since he is obviously the best at what he’s done, do you kind of pick his brain and kind of get what he did well?
PATRICK CANTLAY: We’re just out there trying to make as many birdies as we can. I might corner him at some point and try and get a little something that I can use, but he’s a great dude and we’re really having fun.

Q. Relative to your skill set, who putted better today, you or Kelly?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Kelly. He looked like the best putter on TOUR today, he looked like Greg Chalmers.

Q. Did you get that? Not a lot of people are going to get to Greg Chalmers.
PATRICK CANTLAY: Doesn’t he always lead the putting stats?

Q. Yeah, he’s unbelievable. What do you like about the tournament outside of the courses? Is it just the courses?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I like the whole feel up here. It’s one of my favorite places. I can see myself retiring here some day. I love Carmel, and it’s just beautiful, so how could you not like it up here when it’s perfect weather like this.

Q. Have you ever gotten angry up here?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I’m sure I have.

Q. Would you have if you had missed that putt on 18?
PATRICK CANTLAY: You know, even if I would have missed it I played well today, so…

Pebble Beach, California

February 6, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team USA

PGA Tour: Patrick Cantlay Speaks on Career Start Number 4 at AT&T Pro-Am

PGA Tour professional Patrick Cantlay speaks to the media ahead of the 2020 AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach about his history at the event.

PGA Tour: Patrick Cantlay addresses the media prior to round one of the 2020 AT&T Pro-Am

JOHN BUSH: We’ll get started. We would like to welcome Patrick Cantlay into the interview room. He’s making his fourth career start at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Patrick, if we can get some thoughts on being back here at Pebble Beach.

PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I like it here. It was my first top-10 finish as a pro here, I think in 2013, and then came back here and started my, I guess comeback, you would say, here and made the cut, which was an accomplishment for me at the time. So I really like the golf courses this week and it’s always nice to play in California, so I’m excited to be here.

JOHN BUSH: All right. We haven’t seen you since a 4th place finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Just talk a little bit about what you’ve been up to since that point, the state of your game, and how things are going.

PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, so went over to Abu Dhabi and played there and have been in California practicing. Got some new sponsors and everything’s going good. Just getting ready for the new year. I love playing on the West Coast, so play this week and play L.A. next week, and everything’s gearing up for the Majors and once the season starts to get going in April. So game feels good, played well in Hawaii, and I like it in California, so I’m excited for the next two weeks here.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Let’s go into questions.

Q. Can you talk a little bit more about that first event back after being away so long, playing here and what that felt like and why here. I mean, it’s cold, it’s not exactly the most conducive place for a guy with a, coming back from a back problem.
PATRICK CANTLAY: Well, the reason to come back here, I think it was, one, I was coming back on a medical and didn’t obviously have great priority to get into events, so it was one of the few events that I was going to get into on the West Coast. But I had had some success here before and I like the golf courses, so that kind of outweighed the cold weather. And it was actually, it was brutal weather that year. It was rainy and there were delays. But it feels like once every three years the weather’s really nice, once every three years the weather’s really bad, and one of the other years it’s kind of marginal. So it looks like it’s going to be sunny and pretty here this week. So I just like the golf courses. I think they suit my game. And Pebble Beach is one of my favorites, whether it’s in competition or just practice rounds.

Q. Did you play here very much at all before you turned professional? Was this a place you came to and played much?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I didn’t. I played one round with my dad here maybe when I was about 12. But I would hear stories about all the guys that were older than me play the California Amateur here, but by the time I was old enough to play it, it wasn’t here anymore, so…

Q. Nice timing, right?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, that would have been great.

Q. Anything you remember about that round with your dad that sticks out?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I remember it being really foggy. And I was probably too young, my dad probably still beat up on me that day. He was a good player.

Q. I would have been curious when you came back here in 2017 what your expectations were in terms of how long it would take you to get back to where you thought you should be, and that led to kind of a different kind of thinking of what do expectations even mean? Is there a difference between practical expectations and far out expectations?
PATRICK CANTLAY: In a weird way it was an accomplishment to finish a golf tournament, just because I hadn’t played in one for so long. So on one hand, I was just happy to have played a whole golf tournament and not had any serious pain. And then on the other hand, I was happy to have made the cut just because when you’re out for that long, of course it’s reasonable to have doubts about your game or how you’re going to hold up. It had been over three years since I had played an actual tournament. I think I played a U.S. Open qualifier, but not, like, a four-round tournament. So coming away from the week I was happy to have made the cut. I think I finished around 45th or 50th or something like that.

Q. 48th.
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted and I felt like I could have played better, but I was happy about making the cut and playing as well as I did and it gave me confidence going forward that I hadn’t really lost much and I was still the player that I used to be.

Q. You’re definitely in the running for the Olympics, you’re definitely in the running for the Ryder Cup. Is it too early for you to be thinking about those or are they on your mind?
PATRICK CANTLAY: There’s so many big events between now and those two events, and I think the way to get there is to focus on all of the events between now and then. And those would be big honors and they’re definitely big things that I would like to do and they’re goals of mine, to make those teams. I think Olympics would be really fun. And after Presidents Cup I can’t wait to play a Ryder Cup because I’m sure it will be — all the great things about the Presidents Cup will be even more amplified during a Ryder Cup, so I’m very much looking forward to that. But it’s not, because the way you qualify is through playing well in the big tournaments, just makes sense to have all your emphasis on those and look at the Olympics or look at the Ryder Cup as a potential bonus or reward for playing well.

Q. How would you describe your level of satisfaction with what you’ve accomplished since your comeback?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I think after the first year I was very satisfied with making the TOUR Championship with a limited schedule and making a TOUR Championship with really, no really goals or expectations to make the TOUR Championship at the start of the year. Like, I wanted to play really well and obviously get my real card after coming back from a medical, that was a goal, and competing at tournaments to win. But it didn’t really occur to me to have a goal to make the TOUR Championship or something like that. So after that week, after finishing the year as well as I did, looking back, I was pretty satisfied. And then I would say since then I don’t really associate the rest of the two years of golf after that with a comeback. That first year felt like kind of a comeback and then after that I felt really confident and comfortable playing out on TOUR and I didn’t really associate the next two years with a comeback, more a resumption of just me playing tournament golf.

So with that being said, looking back on it, I’ve played really well the last three years since I’ve come back, really consistently, had some chances to win, won a couple events, and qualified for the Presidents Cup team and played well there and that was really fun and really exciting. So I would say all in all, it’s been good. And I feel like now I’ve seen all the golf courses multiple times in multiple weather conditions for two or three years now, which I think is an advantage, and I’m excited to go back to all those places that I like to play with the experience that I have now and the confidence that I have now and see what I can do.

Q. How important do you think distance is in your success?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Well I think it would be ignorant not to look at people that play well and say distance isn’t a big issue or a big component of all the good players’ games. So, yeah, it’s definitely a huge component of me playing well. And I’m hitting it a lot farther than I did when came back and probably hitting it farther relative to other players than when I first turned pro. And I think part of that is putting an emphasis on it and part of that is just maturing and getting older. But, yeah, I mean, it’s a huge part of the game and to ignore that or to say it’s not that big of a deal, I think would be a mistake because guys are hitting it farther and the golf courses are suited for that.

Q. Do you think distance is a problem in golf?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Not for the amateur player. I think all the equipment and all the stuff is great for the amateur golfer and can’t get any, it can’t, the ball can’t go too far for a 10 handicap. So in general I would say no, some golf courses on TOUR, yes, but most golf courses on TOUR, no. If I were to play Cypress Point this week, yeah, it would be a problem at Cypress point because there’s a lot of holes that you can’t hit driver or a lot of holes that other guys would hit driver, 7-iron and I’m hitting driver and a sand wedge or driver and a gap wedge. But for the majority of golf courses we play out here on TOUR I would say no.

Q. You mentioned all the big events that you’re going to play before the Olympics or Ryder Cup and of course first major’s two months away. Wondering what your mindset is going into Augusta this year, given the fact that you came close last year, you had a chance and does that change your mindset I guess about how you now look at the tournament knowing that you got your self in the lead and at least gave yourself a chance?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Right, well, until I played the weekend last year I hadn’t shot any really low scores at Augusta and then I shot pretty two good scores on the weekend, especially on Saturday. So I think any time you put in good rounds like that at a golf course that you’re going to come back to it shows you that you can do it and it shows you kind of how to do it and gives you confirmation that your game plan or the shots that you see on that particular golf course work. I really like the golf course and I think it is obvious that you need some rounds out there and some experience out there to play it as best as possible. So having success there last year and knowing that I can play the golf course really well and liking the golf course, I like the golf course, I think it suits my game, I think will only bode well for me in the future, especially this year.

Q. When something like that’s over, how much do you think back on the tee shot on 16, after the tournament’s over.
PATRICK CANTLAY: I mean obviously I think about it, any tournament you would play and you hit a shot that you wouldn’t have rather hit, you think about it. I think what’s interesting about that hole in particular is it’s just the opposite of what you see. So you would rather be short sided in the bunker or you would rather be rather even pull it long left of the green than you would hit it where I hit it, even though it doesn’t look like that. And I think I knew that, I just made a bad swing. But the fact that I know it and I still did it makes it maybe a little bit more painful, but that’s kind of the nature of the golf course. So, yeah, I mean of course I would have liked to have hit it to this far (Indicating) and gone to the 17th tee. But there will be plenty more years for that.

Q. I’m sure you would have. I think what I’m curious about is, when you’ve come close to winning a tournament, how often do certain shots linger once the tournament’s over and did you find that Augusta that it maybe lasted longer or stronger, just because what have it is?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I think that inherently playing a big event like that you think about what would have, what would have, could have happened more than say another regular tournament. But looking back on it, if I would have played halfway decent Thursday, Friday, and had the weekend that I had, I would have won by a lot. So I played really well on the weekend, I played really well Saturday and the first 15 holes of Sunday to give myself an opportunity and sitting at home at dinner on Friday night no one would have thought I even had a chance at all and so the experience that I gained from it is invaluable going forward and as long as you draw on the positives from it and don’t linger too long on the negatives but learn from them, I think you’re best off going forward.

Q. So do you think more about 16 and 17 or Thursday and Friday?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Well, brain-wise it’s really hard to think of all of the mistakes you made Thursday and Friday because there were so many, but it’s easy to say, yeah, that’s the easiest hole location on 16, you should make a birdie and go to the 17th hole and that maybe might have put me in a playoff or something. Yeah, it’s easy to say that because all the work that it took to get there Saturday and the first part of Sunday makes you think like that. But it’s hard to think of it in terms of pieces of the tournament. I think all the shots I hit over four days, it added up to like whatever it added up to, 11-under or 10-under or whatever it added up to. You got to look at it as a whole instead of focusing on little bits and pieces because you can drive yourself crazy one way or the other. You wouldn’t talk to somebody who made eagle on 15 on Friday but missed the cut by two and say, Did you really, like did you when, coming away from the tournament, did you think about how good you played the 15th hole if you eagled it Thursday and Friday, but you missed the cut. So I don’t think you should do that the other way if you mess up a hole or hit a bad shot on Sunday.

Q. Have you ever surfed and if not why not?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I have surfed. I try everything once, twice if you like it. But I didn’t like it, I wasn’t very good at it and for me to keep doing things that I’m not very good at takes a lot of will power. And surfing-wise, just the whole process of it, you got to buy the board, find somebody that knows how to surf, go out there, the California water’s really cold, put your wet suit on, wax your surf board up, go out there, maybe you don’t catch any waves, for me I could try to catch as many waves as possible, I’ll keep falling over, maybe not even get up. So I never got into it. My dad played golf, he never surfed.

Q. So you went and chipped and putted instead?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Chipped and putted, yeah.

Q. Did you do any other sports as a kid?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Basketball and baseball.

Q. Were you any good?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I was good enough to make the all star team and pitch and play short stop when I was about eight or 10 and by the time I was 13 I was playing right field, so I figured it was my time to exit.

Q. What happened?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I wasn’t getting bigger or faster, I was probably biggest compared to everybody else when I was about 10 years old. By the time I was 13 or 14 I was one of the smallest kids, and the kids were a lot bigger and stronger and growing mustaches. And I was like 5′-3″ and instead of hitting doubles, I was lining it out to the second baseman, and I didn’t have a chance. I was slow — and basketball was even worse. I could shoot and that was about it.

JOHN BUSH: But the golf thing has worked out pretty well for you. Patrick, thanks for your time.


Pebble Beach, California

February 4, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team USA

European Tour: Patrick Cantlay Speaks About His First Start European Tour Start at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

European Tour and PGA Tour professional Patrick Cantlay speaks about his first start in the Middle East at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and about expanding his schedule to become more of an international player.

European Tour: Patrick Cantlay speaks to the media prior to making his first European Tour start at the 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Q. Why don’t we start with your first visit to the Middle East. Just give us your impressions on the place and how have you adjusted so far?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I’ve only been here a couple days, but everything seems great. I played nine holes on the golf course, and I’ll play nine more this afternoon. Golf course seems good. So excited for Thursday to come around and start off my first European Tour event.

Q. Is this kind of a plan to become a more global player and play outside the United States more often?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I think it’s important to play all over the world, not only just for growing-the-game purposes, but I think it’s good as a golfer to see different places and get comfortable playing all over. I think that’s part of it.

I think both The European Tour and the PGA TOUR play more of a global schedule, especially in the last decade. I don’t think that’s going to change. I think it will continue to be more of a global game, and we see that with the World Golf Championships. I think it’s all good, and it’s good to play in different places and experience different cultures and see what the world is like.

Q. And I know when you guys come for a tournament, you don’t have much time apart from just seeing the golf course, but do you have something in mind that you want to experience in this region?
PATRICK CANTLAY: You know, for me, it’s pretty hotel, golf course. I’m here first and foremost to win the golf tournament, prepare my best to do. So.

So on a long travel week like this, it’s hard to get enough sleep. So my priority is really there. But there are definitely some times where I’ll be at a place for a golf tournament and hear or see something that I may want to go see, and book it into the time the next time I’m back, or maybe earmark it for if I want to take a vacation some day.

Q. Can I ask you, I’m not going to mention the Presidents Cup, because you ended 2019 on a pretty good note, but looking ahead to 2020, I mentioned to Bryson when he came in, it’s a jam-packed year in terms of golf, four majors, WGCs and Olympics and Ryder Cup. Is there one sort of thing, here we are now in the second week of January, that you really would love to be in, or is it all the package of the year?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Sure, well, I’m into everything except Ryder Cup and Olympics. Olympics is going to be even more of a difficult tournament to qualify for even than Ryder Cup.

I’d love to be in both those events, especially after having my experience at the Presidents Cup. I really enjoyed the team golf. I’ve only done it twice with Walker Cup and Presidents Cup and I love that atmosphere. I love being able to pull for the other guys that are on my team and feel like it’s a team event, especially when in golf we never get those team events.

So that would be great to see, and also, Presidents Cup was away, so I would love to see what it’s like at a home event when I have guys pulling for me. Walker Cup was away, as well. Those I would like to qualify for.

But for me the emphasis is on the majors. I love major championship golf and I had some success in the majors last year. That’s where my emphasis is, and that’s what I’m going to prep for, and if I take care of business there, I should qualify for Ryder Cup and Olympics.

Q. This is your first European Tour event. What made you come here? Did anyone twist your arm? Obviously other Americans have come here and played well. Did anyone say anything specific to you?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I talked to Rickie. He said he enjoyed his time here. Obviously he won; he told me how great a list of champions this place had, kind of needling me a little bit.

Yeah, it’s kind of desert golf, which I think it’s a good way to start kind of the year back in January, playing some desert golf, which is more target golf. It just fit in a good part of the schedule. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the event, and played nine holes on the golf course. Seems good so far, so all good.

Q. How familiar are you with some of the competition, obviously there’s a good deal of European Tour players. You play on the PGA and the majors, but obviously there are another 50 or 60 that play week-in and week-out. Would you remember any from the Walker Cup days like Andy Sullivan?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I think Tom Lewis might have been the only guy on the Walker Cup Team that I played against. I don’t know all that many European Tour players, but I do know the guys that play WGCs and everything. I’ve seen some friendly faces out here the last couple days.

Q. And what are your initial impressions of the course so far? Have you managed to get out there?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I just played nine, but it’s in good shape and looks like the fairways are narrow, which I like. So should be all good, yeah. Seems good. I still have to see the front side.

Q. Given your history because of the injury and then obviously the tragic death of your friend in front of your own eyes and you missing so many years of competitive golf at that time, has that made you more hungry or what kind of perspective has it given to you when you come to play events like this?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Well, I don’t think I ever wasn’t hungry; so that’s still there. I still really enjoy competing and I really enjoy playing tournament golf. It’s one of my most — one of the things I enjoy most doing is playing any type of competitive sport, but especially golf.

And so that’s always been there. The perspective is more on — the perspective gained was more of a life experience, stuff that translates not just to the golf course but throughout your life.

It’s really that you have to enjoy whatever experiences you’re having with those that you really love and those that you want to spend time with. That’s the most important thing, regardless of winning golf tournaments or losing golf tournaments, but being able to, for example, win a golf tournament and then celebrate with those that are really close to you, whether that’s — for me that’s winning golf tournaments, but for somebody else it could be a variety of different things.

Spending time with those that you love and those you want to spend time with is by far the most important thing, and going through all that, being out for a long time, and the death of my friend, Chris, it’s something that really — I don’t know if I was expecting to learn it, but it’s something that I definitely learned and hit me in the face after some time reflecting on it that that really is what life is all about.

Q. And do you find — given the number of injuries we see in the sport now, do you find people coming up to you, seeking your health guidance, because you went through a pretty bad phase, also, and then came back like this.
PATRICK CANTLAY: I haven’t had too many people — everyone is dealing with so many different injuries and it is becoming more common, and I think with guys trying to swing the golf club faster and playing so many events, that’s going it continue to be the norm.

No, I haven’t had too many people come up to me asking me for advice. Everyone’s got their own issues.

Q. You’re world No. 6 today. Did you expect to be in the Top-10 at the beginning of last year, and basically, what are your goals for this year in terms of World Ranking?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Obviously the goal is to be No. 1, and I’m doing everything in my power to prep for events to win, which is the way to get there.

I don’t know about if I expected — I don’t know if I expected to be there. I don’t really think of it in terms of that, but I definitely prepared like I was going there. That’s the plan, and that’s going to be how I continue to prepare for all the events. I think if you show up to every event ready to win and prepared to win, it’s as good as you can do.

Q. I need to ask you about that little storm that was created in Hawai’i. What do you think of the whole situation? Do you think that kind of — some talk that is going on between two players, being heard all around the world, what were your own thoughts when everything happened?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Well, I didn’t hear until after the round and still I was unsure what they were talking about. I obviously didn’t know that I was on camera, or on camera and mic’d up. Now that I know that it’s happening more often, I’ll definitely be more aware of it, yeah.

CLARE BODEL: Thanks, everyone.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

January 14, 2020