BMW Championship 2021: Patrick Cantlay Outlasts Bryson DeChambeau in 6-Hole Playoff

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 29, 2021

OWINGS MILLS, MD - AUGUST 29: Bryson DeChambeau raises his putter on the first green during the final round of the BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club on August 29, 2021 in Owings Mills, Maryland. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)
Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Patrick Cantlay outlasted Bryson DeChambeau to win the BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Cantlay took DeChambeau down in a sudden-death playoff to earn his third PGA Tour victory of the season.


The only player with three victories this season. πŸ† πŸ† πŸ† <a href="https://twitter.com/patrick_cantlay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Patrick_Cantlay</a> has won <a href="https://twitter.com/BMWchamps?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BMWChamps</a> to claim the top spot in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FedExCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FedExCup</a> Playoffs headed to East Lake. <a href="https://t.co/HgYaZ402fY">pic.twitter.com/HgYaZ402fY</a>

The fifth playoff hole summed up how the evening unfolded. DeChambeau teed off first and watched his ball land six feet from the flagstick. Cantlay stepped to the tee next and did him one better.

Golf Digest @GolfDigest

This playoff is INSANE. πŸ‘<a href="https://twitter.com/b_dechambeau?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@b_dechambeau</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/patrick_cantlay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@patrick_cantlay</a> have these birdie putts on the fifth playoff hole. <a href="https://t.co/CIXYMRIhM9">pic.twitter.com/CIXYMRIhM9</a>

The breakthrough finally came when Cantlay nailed a long birdie putt on the sixth playoff hole. DeChambeau, who struggled with his putter in clutch moments all day, couldn't find the mark from inside nine feet.

BMW Championship Leaderboard

1. Patrick Cantlay (-27)

2. Bryson DeChambeau (-27)

3. Sungjae Im (-23)

4. Rory McIlroy (-22)

5. Erik van Rooyen (-21)

T6. Dustin Johnson (-20)

T6. Sergio Garcia (-20)

8. Sam Burns (-19)

T9. Alex Noren (-18)

T9. Jon Rahm (-18)

T9. Abraham Ancer (-18)

Full leaderboard via PGATour.com

Entering Sunday, the final round was shaping up to be a two-horse race between Cantlay and DeChambeau after they were tied for the lead through 54 holes. Sungjae Im was three shots back in third.

Not only did the pair continue to distance themselves from the rest of the field, but they also engaged in a dramatic head-to-head battle as the round progressed. The differing playing styles for Cantlay and DeChambeau made for an entertaining chess match.

Tim Gavrich @TimGavrich

Lost in the observations about Cantlay giving up 20+ yards to DeChambeau is the fact that that means Cantlay gets to hit first from every par 4 or 5 fairway. When it’s one-on-one like this, you absolutely want to hit first and put pressure on the other guy.

The pair were level through the front nine before DeChambeau edged ahead with three straight birdies after making the turn to No. 10. Cantlay sank a 22-foot birdie putt on No. 14 to grab a share of the lead.


A big-time birdie for <a href="https://twitter.com/patrick_cantlay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Patrick_Cantlay</a>.<br><br>He moves into a tie for the lead <a href="https://twitter.com/BMWchamps?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BMWChamps</a>. <a href="https://t.co/yZlBq8Typg">pic.twitter.com/yZlBq8Typg</a>

They remained deadlocked with 15 holes in the books before Cantlay lost valuable ground on No. 16.

He hooked his first two shots into the rough and overshot the green with his approach. Having to deal with a difficult lie, simply saving par was a challenge for the Long Beach, California, native. His nine-foot putt found the bottom of the cup to keep him at 27 under.

DeChambeau, on the other hand, was money on a 13-footer to earn a birdie. He rebounded nicely after seeing his second-shot approach land well short of the green.

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

β˜‘οΈ Fire a birdie 🐦<br>β˜‘οΈ Strike a pose πŸ’ͺ<br>β˜‘οΈ Take the solo lead <a href="https://twitter.com/b_dechambeau?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@b_dechambeau</a> // <a href="https://twitter.com/BMWchamps?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BMWchamps</a> <br><br>πŸ“Ί Watch now on NBC and <a href="https://twitter.com/peacockTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacockTV</a> <br>πŸ’» <a href="https://t.co/ZIKnYkAuTr">https://t.co/ZIKnYkAuTr</a> <a href="https://t.co/k6RRpI9fXe">pic.twitter.com/k6RRpI9fXe</a>

Cantlay subsequently missed a golden opportunity to climb back to the top of the leaderboard.

DeChambeau's tee shot on No. 17 didn't make the green, and he badly mishit his chip from the rough en route to a bogey. Cantlay was unable to capitalize because his tee shot bounced into the water. He mitigated the damage with a bogey to stay within one shot of DeChambeau heading to the 18th tee.

DeChambeau's drive on No. 18 bounced to a stop at the fairway after traveling 333 yards. Cantlay also found the fairway and left himself with a 22-foot birdie putt after getting onto the green.

Cantlay's hopes of forcing a playoff rested squarely on that putt, and he came up clutch once again.


CLUTCH!<a href="https://twitter.com/patrick_cantlay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Patrick_Cantlay</a> birdies the 72nd hole to force a playoff <a href="https://twitter.com/BMWchamps?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BMWChamps</a>. <a href="https://t.co/bpnaEHpU9o">pic.twitter.com/bpnaEHpU9o</a>

DeChambeau could've rendered Cantlay's heroics moot since he still had a birdie chance. His putt rolled well to the left of the cup, though, and he had to settle for a par.

Cantlay nearly pulled another rabbit out of his hat on the first playoff hole. After a poor approach left him in the thick stuff, he saw his chip roll toward the hole and run alongside the right lip.


So close!<a href="https://twitter.com/patrick_cantlay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Patrick_Cantlay</a> nearly holes his chip shot on the first playoff hole. <a href="https://t.co/BhskcJTUgF">pic.twitter.com/BhskcJTUgF</a>

Cantlay's magic carried over to the second playoff hole. He chunked his approach and wound up on the front portion of the green, 54 feet away from the flagstick.

DeChambeau, meanwhile, wasn't far off from holing out in two.


When you know, you know. 🎯<a href="https://twitter.com/b_dechambeau?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@B_DeChambeau</a> nearly holes his approach shot on the second playoff hole. <a href="https://t.co/gZbn76FCz8">pic.twitter.com/gZbn76FCz8</a>

Despite being in the driver's seat, the 2020 U.S. Open champion couldn't shut the door as his seven-foot birdie putt was off target.

On the fourth playoff hole, the shoe was on the other foot as DeChambeau had to rally after slicing his drive into the creek running alongside the fairway. Cantlay couldn't convert the birdie putt that would've won him the tournament.

Together, they combined for arguably the most dramatic finish of the year.

With the BMW Championship concluded, all roads lead to Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club for the Tour Championship.

In addition to the battle for the FedEx Cup, this season's final stop will help finalize the respective squads for the 2021 Ryder Cup.