2022 BMW Championship board, grades: Patrick Cantlay successfully defends title in Wilmington – CBS Sports

2022 BMW Championship leaderboard: Live updates, full coverage, golf scores in Round 4 on Sunday - CBS Sports

It didn’t look as easy as it did a year ago, but the drama was just as rich. Patrick Cantlay achieved success for the first time in PGA Tour history as he successfully defended a FedEx Cup playoff event title with his victory on Sunday at the 2022 BMW Championship.

Entering the final round with a one stroke lead over his good friend, Xander Schauffele, and his biggest challenger, Scott Stallings, this title was not easy. After making two bogeys in a three-hole stretch around the turn, Cantlay found himself two strokes off the lead held by Stallings and on the verge of yet another close call.

While his 2021 season brought wins and fortunes, 2022 brought close call after close call. A three-time runner-up, Cantlay entered the week among the most consistent in the game but without a solo win to his credit. The breaks went in the direction of his playing competitors; he was one revolution away from a playoff win at the WM Phoenix Open and a stuffed lie away from extending a playoff at the RBC Legacy. On Sunday at Wilmington Country Club, the golf gods finally made amends.

Battling Stallings down the stretch, Cantlay found himself in a share of the lead on the 17th tee after dodging bullet after bullet with Stallings unable to convert many birdie opportunities. With his tee drifting to the right, it was a bounce that finally went his way that ultimately propelled him to victory.

Destined to end up in the fairway bunker or perhaps the thick rough, Cantlay’s ball on 17 took an obscure hop back into the fairway instead. While these moments happen often during a tournament, it’s what Cantlay did afterward that defines champions: he took advantage of it. Hitting his approach to within 6 feet, the 30-year-old grabbed the lead on his own and didn’t look back as a neat par on the last put the BMW Championship trophy back in his hands.

Cantlay has now earned 11 top-10 finishes on the season, the best of his career and the best mark of anyone on the PGA Tour. Yesterday it was mentioned that consistency is not often rewarded in the short term but rather in the long term. Faced with the condensed three-week FedEx Cup Playoffs, Cantlay actually has the luxury of benefiting from both.

His amazing regular season saw him miss out on adding hardware to his mantle, but what it did do was prepare him for this very moment. He will enter the Tour Championship in second position behind only Scottie Scheffler and will begin the postseason finale two strokes off the lead at 8 under.

Cantlay made history in Delaware on Sunday with his win, and now has a chance to add to it in Atlanta. No man has won back-to-back FedEx Cup crowns, and while this will certainly be on the mind of the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year, so will the $18 million check he has a realistic chance of adding to his bank account for the second consecutive year. Grade: A+

Here’s the breakdown of the rest of the leaderboard at the 2022 BMW Championship

2. Scott Stallings (-13): He looked like the best player of those competing for the title for most of the day. Tricky from tee to green, Stallings finally fell short on the greens when he was unable to convert birdie opportunities on his final four holes that followed an untimely three-putt from just off the green on the par-3 13th. A win would have meant so much to Stallings, who is winless in more than eight years. Despite the disappointment, there are many positives to take away from his performance. He entered week 46 in the FedEx Cup and will leave in 12th position ahead of the likes of Justin Thomas and Matt Fitzpatrick, which is kind of amazing to imagine. Grade: A+

T3. Scottie Scheffler (-11): The world No. 1 got off on the wrong foot at the St. Jude Championship but quickly put right any wrongs in Memphis. He had his chances coming down on Sunday, and though he came up short, he’ll head to Atlanta as the top man in the FedEx Cup standings. Starting the week at 10 under and two strokes ahead of Cantlay, he will try to follow in the footsteps of his closest pursuer and fend off the chasing pack. Scheffler was able to use his hot spring into an enviable position at East Lake, but his historic season could have been made with the addition of a friendly pitcher. In his last 10 tournaments, Scheffler has lost strokes on the greens on seven occasions — the three times he hasn’t, he’s finished inside the top three. Grade: A-

T5. Corey Conners (-10): The best player from Canada these days, Conners entered the week 29th in the FedEx Cup standings. His ball-striking has long been his strength, and it came through in a big way on Sunday. After making two bogeys in the middle of his back nine, Conners was reeling and needed something good to happen. Well, it did for the 30-year-old, as his iron game set up kicking birdies on three of his final four holes to secure his place in the Tour Championship.

“It’s really exciting,” Conners said. “It’s always a goal at the start of the year. I feel like I’ve had a solid season. Still trying to get in the winning streak again, but a lot of really solid play, giving me some opportunities, and really excited about it. going back to East Lake.” Grade: A

T15. Sahith Theegala (-7): After opening his BMW Championship with a 1-over 72, Theegala battled back with three consecutive rounds in the 60s to qualify for the Tour Championship. He mentioned on the telecast the nerves settling in during his warm-up, but they were nowhere to be seen in the home stretch. Birdieing four of his final seven holes on Sunday, Theegala looked well beyond his years in experience and showed the grit and determination displayed by a top-30 player on the PGA Tour.

“Oh, that’s what it’s about,” Theegala said of his nervousness. “The fact that you’re even in that position to feel nerves is a good thing. I think that’s what I tell a lot of guys is like, hey, if you’re nervous, that’s such a good feeling. Imagine not being nervous. , then what do you do. Obviously, there’s a fine line between serious nervousness and anxiety and comfort, and finding that line is difficult. But yes, only pressure is a privilege, and I certainly felt that way today.” Grade: A+

T15 Aaron Wise (-7): The last man in had a turbulent final round and could easily have packed it in early. Making double bogey on his second hole, Wise righted the ship in the middle of his round before taking on water again. Going double bogey-bogey on Nos. 14-15, the 26-year-old was able to make three pars in a row to punch his second ticket into the Tour Championship. While Wise has been able to make his way to major championships in recent years, with his trip to East Lake, he will garner an invitation to next year’s Masters for the first time since 2019. Grade: B+

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