LAS VEGAS – Patrick Cantlay won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday in a playoff for the first victory in a PGA Tour career mostly derailed by a severe back injury.
The 25-year-old former UCLA star hit from behind a tree and got up-and-down for par from off the back of the 18th green to beat Alex Cejka and Whee Kim on the second extra hole.
Cantlay bogeyed the final two holes of regulation for a 5-under 67 to get in at 9-under 275 at windy TPC Summerlin.
Cejka birdied the 18th with an 18-footer for 63 more than two hours before Cantlay and Whee – who bogeyed 18 for a 66 – finished the round. The three played the 456-yard, par-4 closing hole twice in the playoff, matching bogeys the first time.
Cantlay broke through to win after a remarkable return last season from the back problems. Out of golf since 2013, he didn’t miss a cut and made it to the Tour Championship while playing only 12 events. Part of that was due to an ankle injury that slowed him for two months.
Cantlay earned $1,224,000, a two-year PGA Tour exemption and a spot in the Masters.
Patton Kizzire (64), J.T. Poston (66) and Chesson Hadley (68) finished a stroke out of the playoff. Hadley bogeyed the 18th in the second-to-last group.
Beau Hossler, tied for the third-round lead with J.J. Spaun, had a 73 to drop into a tie for seventh at 7 under with Bryson DeChambeau (67) and Tom Hoge (69).
Spaun played the final four holes in 5 over for a 74. He bogeyed the 15th and closed with two double bogeys to drop into a tie for 10th at 6 under.
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