Patrick Cantlay Wins the Memorial Tournament in a One-Hole Playoff
DUBLIN, Ohio — The leaderboards positioned at critical junctures of a professional golf tournament are more than scoreboards. They are omnipresent yardsticks measuring the rhythm of the contest with hole-by-hole counts for the top golfers, collectively meant to tell the whole story of the event.
But on Sunday, in the final round of the Memorial Tournament, there was a jarring omission from every leaderboard, a name conspicuously missing.
Patrick Cantlay won the 2021 Memorial, outdueling Collin Morikawa in a seesaw battle that included one extra playoff hole, but the heart-rending story of the event will always be the Saturday evening withdrawal of Jon Rahm, who had tested positive for the coronavirus. Rahm, the defending Memorial champion, was informed of his test result at the end of the third round as he left the 18th green with a commanding six-stroke lead. The tournament continued, and Cantlay’s victory will not carry an asterisk in the PGA Tour record book, nor should it.
But from the first holes played on Sunday by Cantlay and Morikawa, who became the third-round co-leaders after Rahm’s withdrawal, Rahm’s absence was recognized.