Chance of defending FedExCup title doesn’t cut ice with Patrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay - TheGolfingHub
Patrick Cantlay after his win at last week's BMW Championship. Photo:

In with a realistic chance to defend his FedExCup title, Patrick Cantlay stands on the cusp of history. He goes into the finale Tour Championship on the back of last week’s BMW Championship triumph, but the man is unwilling to look too far ahead.

Excerpts from an interview:

Maybe a few comments after defending your title at the BMW Championship and getting here to Atlanta to try to defend your FedExCup title.

Patrick Cantlay: Yeah, I’m excited, coming back to a golf course that I like and obviously have some recent success on. It’s nice to come into this tournament with a chance to win, being up near the top of the staggered start, although this year should be a different challenge than last year considering I’m two behind as opposed to two ahead.

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What’s it like to play on this course with so much at stake?

Cantlay: Yeah, it’s fun, the only difference is starting the tournament ahead, I think, adds a little bit of pressure that guys don’t usually feel, teeing off on a Thursday or a Friday. But that’s one of the new challenges to this week.


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In your mind how many times do you feel like you’ve won out here, considering you’ve been the low guy, had the low aggregate score and not won —

Cantlay: Yeah, I’ve never had the low aggregate score here. In fact, I’ve played pretty poorly here in general other than last year. You might be thinking of Xander. He’s won the aggregate a couple times but never the FedExCup. I would say just the once. Last year
feels like a win, considering everyone is just trying to post a low total even with the staggered start, and the feelings were the same. I didn’t even know where I was compared
to the rest of the field as far as aggregate scoring for the week. Probably just the once.

Would it mean much to you to have that historical note of being the guy who defended a TOUR Championship or a FedExCup?

Cantlay: I don’t put too much stock in kind of random stats like that. Last week I said I was surprised Tiger hasn’t defended, and it might just be because he was injured one year.
I think at the end of your career you’ll look back and say I wish I would have won every FedEx you had a chance to win because it’s a big tournament, and the fact that it’s a
year-long race I think means a little bit more. Back-to-back doesn’t do anything more, but two is a lot better than just one.


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How would you look at the year? You hadn’t won an individual title since last week. Do you find the win or the consistency more rewarding?

Cantlay: I try to view golf tournaments as you can really only control putting yourself in the chance to win on the back nine on Sunday. A lot of times thingsĀ happen that are outside of your control, and that determines who wins. So I felt like I was playing well all year and felt like maybe I should have won or could have won a couple times earlier. But I was glad to get one individual tournament under my belt last week, and having it be one of the bigger events of the year I think was cool.


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What do you see as the key to having your game in the shape it needs to be at the end of a long season, having gone through the grind of all the majors and still being at your best this time of year?

Cantlay: Yeah, I think Tiger always talked about peaking. I think it’s hard to tailor when you’re going to peak. I think in general, I try to stick to my process as best I can and treat every week relatively similarly and prepare as best I can for the challenge of the golf course and the test that we’re going to have that week. Then some weeks in some stretches you really feel like you’re going to play great, in other stretches it’s more of a
challenge, and that’s just the nature of our game.