Cantlay becomes second-youngest champ in tour history with win in Colombia

March 03, 2013

By Joe Chemycz, Tour staff

BOGOTA, Colombia – California rookie Patrick Cantlay fired a 5-under 66 Sunday and pulled away from fellow third-round co-leader Jim Renner to win the Colombia Championship at Country Club de Bogota by four strokes.

Cantlay finished with a tournament-record total of 18-under, bettering the old mark set by Steven Pate in 2010 by seven strokes. In addition to earning his first professional title at the tender of age of 20 years 11 months and 15 days, Cantlay also becomes the second-youngest winner in Tour history.

“It feels really good to win. I felt in control all day,” said the former UCLA All-America. “This sets the year off on the right foot. Even though I’m one of the youngest guys out here I feel really comfortable out here.”

Cantlay also picks up a check for $126,000 and takes over the No. 1 spot on the money list.

“Winning is why we compete. That’s why we play,” he said. “I just love competing. It doesn’t feel too soon, it’s been a while since I won.”

Cantlay’s 66 was the best round of the final day, just as his 65 was the low round on Saturday.

“I putted really well this week,” said Cantlay. “I feel really good on these greens. My speed was pretty good all week but especially the last two days.”

Cantlay started the final round tied with Renner but spurted to the lead with birdies at Nos. 8 and 9 and then eagled the par-5, 10th hole from 12 feet to increase his lead to two over Renner, who birdied the hole.

“The birdie at nine was big for momentum because that was a tough pin. The eagle at 10 was a steal because I didn’t think my 6-iron would get there,” he said. “I was taking a safe line to the middle of the green. I was NOT going at that flag. The putt kind of cemented things in my head.”

With no other serious challengers, the back nine was left to the final pairing.

A bogey by Renner at No. 12 increased Cantlay’s lead to three and another birdie by the leader at No. 14 moved it to four, where it stayed the rest of the way as both players closed their round with four consecutive pars.

“I tried to stayed focus down the stretch,” said the winner, who will play in next week’s PGA TOUR stop, the Puerto Rico Open, on a sponsor exemption. “You never really feel settled until the end. I didn’t relax until after my last wedge at 18 put me in a spot where I knew I could it done.”

Shane Bertsch (70) finished third at 12-under 272 while Texas teen Jordan Spieth (67) and Brazil’s Alexandre Rocha (68) shared fourth place at 11-under.

Fourth- Round Notes & Quotes:

• Patrick Cantlay established a new 72-hole tournament record. His 18-under 266 eclipsed the old mark of 11-under 273 set by Steve Pate and Aaron Watkins in 2010. Pate defeated Watkins in a playoff in 2010, the first year of the event.

• With his win today, Patrick Cantlay becomes the second-youngest winners in Tour history:

Youngest winners in Tour history
Jason Day

19 years, 7 months, 26 days – 2007 Legend Financial Group Classic

Patrick Cantlay

20 years, 11 months, 15 days – 2012 Colombia Championship

Danny Lee

21 years, 2 months, 8 days – 2011 WNB Golf Classic

James Oh

21 years, 5 months, 27 days – 2003 Mark Christopher Charity Classic

Steven Bowditch

21 years, 8 months, 12 days – 2005 Jacob's Creek Open Championship

David Duval 21 years, 9 months – 1993 Wichita Open
David Duval 21 years, 11 months – 1993 Tour Championship
Michael Sim 22 years – 2006 PalmettoPride Classsic
Harris English 22 years, 1 day, 2011 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational
Russell Henley 22 years, 26 days – 2011 Stadion Classic at UGA
Ben Kohles 22 years, 5 months, 5 days – 2012 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational
Chris Nallen 22 years, 6 months, 1 day – 2004 Gila River Golf Classic
Luke Guthrie 22 years, 7 months, 15 days – 2012 Albertsons Boise Open

• Patrick Cantlay becomes the second UCLA Bruin to win this event. Steve Pate won the inaugural event in 2010 and at the time became the oldest winner in Tour history (48 years, 9 months, 11 days).

• Patrick Cantlay is only 20 years old but already has 19 career PGA TOUR starts on his resume. Cantlay enjoyed a stellar amateur career and turned pro in June last year after a brief stint at UCLA, where he was named winner of the Fred Haskins Award in 2011 as the nation’s top collegiate player. He was also named the Division I Player of the Year, participated in the Walker Cup and was runner-up to Kelly Kraft at the U.S. Amateur.

Cantlay has made 14 cuts in his 19 TOUR starts and is 1-for-4 this year. He finished T9 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Cantlay finished No. 79 on the Tour money list in 2012 in just four starts. He lost a playoff to Russell Henley at the Chiquita Classic and was T5 at the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open.

• Patrick Cantlay burst onto the PGA TOUR scene as an amateur in 2011, making five cuts in five summer starts. Cantlay finished T21 at the U.S. Open at Congressional CC near Washington D.C. The following week he opened with rounds of 67-60 at TPC River Highlands and grabbed a one-stroke lead at the Travelers Championship. Weekend scores of 72-70 dropped him back to T24. He followed up the next week with a T20 finish at the AT&T National at Aronimink Golf Club near Philadelphia.

Cantlay finished off his summer with a T9 at the RBC Canadian Open and a T67 at the Open.

• Jim Renner’s runner-up finish is a career-best. His previous best was a T3 at The Rex Hospital Open last year.

• Brazil’s Alexandre Rocha’s T4 finish is a career-best for him on the Tour. Rocha played on the PGA TOUR in 2011 and 2012 and his best finish is a playoff runner-up at last year’s Reno-Tahoe Open. He also finished T4 at the Open in mid-October.

• Colombia native Manuel Villegas birdied three of his final five holes for a 3-under 68 and a 9-under 275 total. Villegas now has a decision to make – his T7 finish this week gives him a spot in next week’s Chile Classic in Santiago. Villegas’ career-best finish was a solo sixth at the 2010 Moonah Classic in Australia.

• Texas teenager Jordan Spieth fired a 4-under 67 to finish at 11-under 273. Spieth collected $30,800 for his T4 this week and coupled with last week’s payday of $19,350 for a T7 at the Panama Claro Championship he now has $50,150 in two starts. Spieth has no status on any Tour and needs $4,649 to achieve Special Temporary Membership on the Tour for the remainder of 2013. Spieth needs to surpass the equivalent of 100th place on the 2012 Tour money list -- $54,799 (Michael Connell) – in order to achieve special temporary membership.

• Bhavik Patel fired an even-par 71 to finish solo sixth. Patel is a 22-year old rookie from Bakersfield, Cal. in his first season on Tour. Patel played college golf at Fresno State University and was the 2011 California State Amateur champion. He teed it up as an amateur at the 2012 TPC Stonebrae Championship but missed the cut.

He missed the cut at last week’s Panama Claro Championship.

This week's course statistics

Front (35) Back (36) Total (71)
Round 1 35.382 35.326 70.708
Round 2 35.711 35.859 71.570
Round 3 34.532 35.597 70.129
Round 4 35.548 35.806 71.355
Average 35.393 35.624 71.017

• Did you know about Colombia…It has a population of 46 million people and enjoys coasts on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

• The Tour will head to further south next week for the second Chile Classic at the Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago Mar. 4-10. Last year, newcomer Paul Haley II cruised to a three-stroke win over Joseph Bramlett to earn the title in only his third career start. Haley, an All-American at Georgia Tech, posted back-to-back, 8-under 64s in the second and third round and opened up a six-shot lead after 54 holes. He was never seriously challenged on the final day but Bramlett, who started the day 10 back, made up ground quickly and carded a 64 to grab solo second. Next week’s winner will earn $117,000 from the $650,000 purse.