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Sunday
Nov052017

Back Sufferers Rejoice: Patrick Cantlay Gets First Win

Bad backs are deadly in golf, so it's especially gratifying see young sufferer Patrick Cantlay return from the depths of physical and mental struggles to get his first PGA Tour win.

Dave Shedloski filed a nice read from Las Vegas where the 25-year-old won the Shriners Hospitals Open For Children in a playoff over Alex Cjeka and Whee Kim. The former college player of the year and longtime top-ranked amateur who lost in the U.S. Amateur final turned pro in promising fashion.

Meticulous, stoic, and adroit, Cantlay heralded his potential a year earlier in the same event when he fired a second-round 60 at TPC River Highlands, the lowest score ever recorded by an amateur in a PGA Tour event, in grabbing the 36-hole lead. That came after finishing T-21 at the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional.

The kid had the skills and the head for the game. Just not the back.

Cantlay first was sidelined after withdrawing from the 2013 Colonial with a back injury that turned out to be a stress fracture in his L5 vertebrae. Somehow, he came back in the fall for one start in the Web.com Tour Finals, finishing second in the Hotel Fitness Championship to retain his PGA Tour card.

In the next three years he would make just six starts.

The PGA Tour's highlights:

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Reader Comments (6)

Alex Kang and AJ McInerney tied for 10th, though Danielle's brother will be in Mexico and AJ will be back at Q-School
11.5.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPG
"Meticulous." That is one word for it. Good for him. He seems to have been through a lot. It would serve him well to smile and pick up the pace.
11.6.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMJR
Yes indeed ! two-level back fusion myself, yea it does inspire
Pretty amazing personal stories in that playoff.

Pity, not many know the stories.

Cjeka's family escaping Czech and what he has done is awesome
11.6.2017 | Unregistered CommenterP Thomas
Watched the back nine and playoff -- happy for Cantlay given his backstory, but is he always that dull and emotionless?!
11.6.2017 | Unregistered CommenterScott Warren
News flash, not every great golfer has a great personality. In fact most of them don't...
11.6.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBoomer

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