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August 29, 2021

Patrick Cantlay

Owings Mills, Maryland, USA

Caves Valley Golf Club

Press Conference

AMANDA HERRINGTON: Patrick, congratulations. We'd like to welcome our 2021 BMW Championship winner to the virtual interview room here. What a long day for you to get your fifth PGA TOUR title, become the first three-time winner of the season and move to No. 1 in the FedExCup. How are you feeling after a marathon day of golf for your fifth career win?

PATRICK CANTLAY: I'm a little tired but very happy. I played really well all week. At the beginning of the week I didn't realize it would take that many under par to just force a playoff. But I hit a lot of good shots today, and it was just enough.

Q. Just curious, was there ever a moment that you thought you weren't going to win? And if not, why not?

PATRICK CANTLAY: I liked Bryson's chances of making that six- or eight-footer up the hill or whatever it was, and yeah, I thought he was going to make that putt. That was maybe the only time that I really thought I was done.

But he didn't make it; that's golf.

I played really well and just tried to focus on the task at hand all day. Even some of the bad shots I hit today, just tried to reset and take it fresh from there.

Q. Had you heard Paddy Ice before, and is that going to be a hard nickname to live up to?

PATRICK CANTLAY: I don't know. That's the first time I've heard it. But I got it all week.

I think there was maybe one or two guys that followed me around maybe all four days, and they just every hole, screaming it. These were some of the most supportive, loudest fans I've ever experienced.

Q. About the Caves Valley experience, your thoughts on that and the way the course played throughout not only the four rounds but also the extra holes.

PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I thought the course was great theater, obviously. Lots of birdies and a great finishing hole. It was easy; I knew it was going to play easy and you were going to need to make a lot of birdies. When I was playing the practice rounds, I mentioned to the guys it's going to be well into the 20s, and that's just mostly to do with it being as soft as it was.

I think this golf course would be very different if it was firm, but it's wide and there's not a ton of trouble, so it was a birdie-fest out there, and it felt like your foot was on the gas from the word "go."

Q. Was there something going on between you and Bryson? The commentators were talking about an exchange that happened on 14.

PATRICK CANTLAY: He just wanted me to stop walking. We had just been told by the rules officials to kind of speed up, and I'm not always the fastest walker, so I was trying to get ahead and do my part. No big deal; that stuff kind of happens every once in a while out here.

Q. Do you realize how good you putted this week? Your strokes gained I guess is the greatest mark ever since they started tracking in 2004.

PATRICK CANTLAY: Well, did it beat Kevin Na when he beat me and it seemed like he was making everything on the planet?

Q. Yes, it did. You had the highest mark, I think, in regulation, 72 holes, 14.578 shots you picked up on the field.

PATRICK CANTLAY: Good, a little redemption then.

Q. How good did the putter feel in your hand all week?

PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, it felt great. I actually switched to that putter through two rounds last week, so I think I took it out on Saturday last week, and I have been working with the guys over at Scotty Cameron all year since I got into this new putter around maybe Wells Fargo was the first week I put this model in.

Finally have one that feels absolutely perfect, and I can't thank those guys over at Scotty Cameron, Paul Vizanko and José, enough. They just sent me a ton of putters, and I got the magic one now.

Q. What kind of model is it?

PATRICK CANTLAY: I think it's a Phantom X 5. I think that's what they call it.

Q. What was the best putt you hit all day and the most meaningful?

PATRICK CANTLAY: You know, I think the bogey save on 17 was a tricky little putt. Obviously not the way I wanted to play that hole, but that kept me in the golf tournament, and it was a tricky putt, and saving just a bogey there and keeping me just one shot going into 18, that was a really big putt.

And then obviously the one on 18 in regulation.

But they all mattered, I guess, the same. I needed all of them.

Q. You haven't had the greatest of results at East Lake so far, but you start there next week at 10-under and with the lead and that big advantage. How does it shape up for you given that's the case?

PATRICK CANTLAY: I think just trying to reset and play the golf tournament like any other golf tournament, just trying to put a bunch of rounds in the 60s on the board. It's a really good golf course. It's usually in fantastic shape. Those guys down there always bring their "A" game when it comes to course conditions.

It's a golf course that I actually like. I haven't played that well there in the past, that's true, but it's a golf course I like. I like the visuals out there, and I'm looking forward to having a better result this year.

Q. What will you have to do better than those other three times to have those better scores you need?

PATRICK CANTLAY: I think driving the ball in the fairway there is very important with the Bermuda rough. In the past we've had it firm, so that highlights putting the ball in the fairway even a little more.

I think staying below the hole there is actually very important. I think the greens have lots of pitch, usually back to front, and the greens are very fast, so as many uphill putts as you can get, then you really have some chances of making some.

Q. Your three wins this season, ZOZO you beat J.T. and Jon Rahm, you beat Morikawa at Memorial, now you take down Bryson here. What's inside of you and what allows you to in the biggest moments go up against the best of your peers and get the job done?

PATRICK CANTLAY: I think a lot of determination and a lot of focus. I'm as focused as I can be on every single shot, and I try not to let my mind get past the moment that I'm in, and maybe that's why I come across a little sedated out there.

But I'm locked in, and I'm as focused as I can be. Then I kind of let the chips fall where they do. Try not to get caught up in being out-driven 45 yards or whatever it is. I just try and lock in and do my absolute best in that moment, and my best is pretty good.

Q. I think this pretty much solidifies your spot on the Ryder Cup team; how stoked are you to get over to Whistling Straits and compete for the first time?

PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I'm excited. Fred Couples texted me this week and said it looks like he's going to be one of the assistant captains, and so he'll be up there. I've been talking with Xander, obviously, and J.T. and Jordan, and we're really looking forward to it.

It's nice to get in on points. I think that's the case. And I'm really looking forward to that whole event. I've heard so much about it and watched it growing up.

I mean, I'm sure it will be everything I've imagined and more. I will lock in there, and hopefully we'll get a victory.

Q. I thought I noticed a line on your ball for putting; is that new?

PATRICK CANTLAY: That's new, and I use it on shorter putts if they don't have very much break. I thought it just maybe got me a little more specific on the really straight short putts, and I don't use it on very many putts, but I think it's helping a little bit on three to five-footers.

Q. Just being observant as you are, did you happen to notice Bryson tipping his hat to the gallery walking up 18 in regulation?

PATRICK CANTLAY: No. No, I didn't notice that.

Q. You make a good point about his six-footer in I forgot what playoff hole it was, but looking like it might be over. What about being one shot behind and seeing the ball go in the water on 17? What was going through your mind there at that point?

PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I was obviously very disappointed. I think I misjudged the wind a little bit and then didn't catchall of the golf ball. I caught it pretty good, but I didn't catch all of the golf ball. It wasn't a great shot, especially in that moment.

But pretty soon I got to thinking, let's try and make 4 here and at least not take all the pressure off of him. We both had 4s on that hole, and that really kept me in the golf tournament, kind of switched the momentum a little bit. It would have been almost insurmountable if I would have went down two going into 18.

Q. What did he say to you when you won, because he didn't talk to us. Just curious.

PATRICK CANTLAY: He hasn't been talking to you guys for a while.

I think he just said, congrats, nice playing, and I said the same. He played great all week. We traded blows pretty much all day. He really did put on an exhibition with the driver.

Q. Is there any part of you that's wondering if there was a BMW jinx on you considering what happened two years ago at Medinah?

PATRICK CANTLAY: Not anymore. I did have some of those thoughts. I was talking with Revy about it. Wow, there's been some really low scores. I didn't think it would even get into the 20s at Medinah. I had a hunch about this week. But I don't know what we were, 26-, 27-under? That's a lot.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: Patrick, thank you for joining us, congratulations, and best of luck next week.

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