ATLANTA — Patrick Cantlay delivered the goods again, this time with a 6-iron instead of a putter.
“Patty Ice” was just as clutch with a $15 million shot that allowed him to hold off Jon Rahm and win the FedEx Cup on Sunday.
In a tense duel with the world’s No. 1 player, Cantlay had a one-shot lead going to the par-5 18th hole at the Tour Championship when he hit 6-iron from 218 yards to just inside 12 feet that secured the biggest victory of his career.
“Felt like a huge win, and it was,” Cantlay said.
Rahm’s shot was equally special, landing next to the hole on its second bounce but rolling to the light rough beyond the green.
With Cantlay in close, the Spaniard had to hole the chip to have any chance of a playoff. He narrowly missed, and Cantlay safely two-putted for birdie and 1-under 69.
The victory was worth $15 million for Cantlay, a 29-year-old Californian whose rise in golf was slowed by a back injury that kept him out for three years and nearly ended his career.
Now he has stamped himself among the elite in golf, boosted by the FedEx Cup postseason.
“It’s fantastic,” Cantlay said. “It’s such a great honor because it’s all year. I played really consistent all year and caught fire at the end. There’s a lot of satisfaction considering all the work I’m put in my whole life.”
Cantlay showed remarkable grit and clutch in surviving a six-hole playoff to beat Bryson DeChambeau in the BMW Championship last week. That’s where he picked up the moniker “Patty Ice,” along with the No. 1 seed to start the Tour Championship with a two-shot lead.
He never flinched over four days at East Lake.
“It was tough,” he said. “It’s definitely the longest lead I’ve ever held.”
Rahm, who started the tournament four shots behind and went into the final day two back, never caught Cantlay. He never let him breathe easy, either.
Cantlay took a two-shot lead with an approach to 6 feet for birdie on the 17th hole, and then nearly lost it all. He drove to the right on the 17th, clipping a tree and dropping down into deep rough, and then hit a flyer over the green and the gallery. His pitch back to the green came up short and into more deep rough, and he had to make a 6-footer to save bogey and stay ahead.
With Rahm well down the 18th fairway, Cantlay hit his best drive of the day, rolling out 361 yards that set up a 6-iron he felt he needed to hit close.
Rahm earned the $5 million consolation prize for finishing second in the FedEx Cup, while Kevin Na (67) picked up $4 million. Justin Thomas (70) birdied the last hole to finish fourth, which was worth $4 million.