There has always been plenty of grumbling over the PGA Tour's major medical exemptions and players using them in strange ways, but I don't think anyone can doubt the importance of the clause when it works. At least, that was my takeaway from Patrick Cantlay's stirring bid to catch Adam Hadwin at the Valspar Championship Sunday.
Funny though, Cantlay suggested he wanted the win (and played like it). The exemption essentially is satisfied by the second place check, though the former UCLA Bruin wanted (and played like) someone wanting a win. From Brentley Romine's Golfweek.com report:
Still, Cantlay will leave Tampa disappointed. He bogeyed his 72nd hole. A par would have forced a playoff and a birdie would have won him his first PGA Tour tournament.
“It didn’t really feel like a burden to begin with,” Cantlay said of the medical extension. “I’m not too worried about that. You know, it doesn’t really feel like much consolation at the moment. I didn’t finish the deal.”
As for Hadwin, the win capped off a 2017 run that has been building toward a signature victory. His post round comments, his bag, Kevin Casey's Valapar roundup, and the PGA Tour Entertainment highlights.