AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) – Tour Championship winner Patrick Cantlay expects Augusta National to keep him on his toes as he renews his quest for a maiden major title at the Masters this week.
The American missed the cut at Augusta in 2021 but has three PGA Tour wins to his name since, including the Tour Championship in September before earning PGA Tour Player of the Year honours.
He also netted $15 million as FedEx Cup champion but will take nothing for granted on his sixth trip down Magnolia Lane.
“I came up a couple of weeks ago and spent a little extra time on the greens that were new,” Cantlay said on Monday.
“This place, with the changes that they do every year, unlike some others, you can’t really putt from memory. You have to keep updating your memory because the green, for example, on 18 is different than it was three or four years ago.
“So just knowing that, you have to maybe be a little more cognisant and not just go to default of what you remember.”
The 30-year-old Cantlay told reporters he was keeping a cool head under pressure, after triumphing against some of the sport’s leading players in the last year.
He defeated twice major winner Collin Morikawa in a playoff at the Memorial Tournament in June and produced an astonishing 17-1/2 foot birdie putt on the sixth playoff hole to beat Bryson DeChambeau at the BMW Championship in August.
“Being able to draw on those past experiences and being able to perform on big stages only bodes well for big stages in the future,” said Cantlay. “Having a cache of experiences like that only helps you going forward.”
With four top-10 finishes this year alone, the American said he is in solid form and plans to play nine holes every day after arriving in Augusta on Monday.
“There is added importance this week, and I think everybody in the field knows that,” added Cantlay. “You’re definitely cognisant of making sure that all your ducks are in a row a little more than a regular week.”
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)