Patrick Cantlay's terrible bogey on 17 opens the door to the Genesis Invitational.
Patrick Cantlay’s terrible bogey on 17 opens the door to the Genesis Invitational.

It was clear that Patrick Cantlay was in charge of the Genesis Invitational after 52 holes.

The 17th hole, a par-5 that goes straight ahead, was his first. He was three shots ahead of Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris. The next-to-last hole at Riviera has been the third-easiest this week, so there was another chance to make a birdie.

So, Cantlay had a chance to make his lead bigger going into the last round on Sunday. On the 17th, though, his shot went into the sand trap to the right of the fairway, which Playing Through said was a bad spot.

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His second shot hit the fairway 130 yards short of the green, which led to a layup. Cantlay still had a chance to make birdie even though his tee shot was bad. Whenever he has a sword in his hand, he is a threat. But he failed this time.

His third shot went off the front of the green and stopped about 15 yards short of the hole. Not very good. A simple up-and-down, on the other hand, will save par.

That being said, he hit a terrible chip from there and missed the 14-footer, giving him a par six.
Right then, his lead shrunk to two.

In the third round of the 2024 Genesis Invitational, Patrick Cantlay beat him.
In the third round of the 2024 Genesis Invitational, Patrick Cantlay beat him.

Cantlay’s mistake on hole 17 cost him a lot, especially since almost every other player in the running made birdie or better. Some of the golfers who made birdies were Schauffele, Zalatoris, Luke List, J.T. Poston, Hideki Matsuyama, and Corey Conners. In fact, Jason Day made an eagle by rolling in a 21-footer, which put him 10 strokes below par.

Only Cantlay and Harris English, who were tied for first place, did not take advantage of 17, and English evened the score.

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Cantlay pretty much dropped two shots on 17, and his bogey let a lot of other players play at Riviera.

Anyway, he shot a 1-under 70 on Saturday, putting him at 14-under after 54 holes.

“Today I played good golf.” Cantlay said of his round, “I didn’t make any long putts or anything.”
“I suppose I didn’t give myself many chances, but all in all, I had a good day and am ready for tomorrow.”

It’s funny that Cantlay and Schauffele, two very good friends, will be Sunday’s last pair. Since the two players work out and hang out together, it should be a good environment for both of them.

Cantlay said of Schauffele, “We played great at Whistling Straits together, and we played great at the Zurich Open the year we won (2022).”

“I believe we played very well in a few rounds at the Presidents Cup in Charlotte as well.” I think that alternate shot and best ball are just ways that we’re used to playing with each other. It feels normal now that we’ve played so many games together.

Cantlay grew up just down the road from Riviera, so Sunday will feel like any other day. He has won eight times on the PGA Tour. His most recent win was at the 2022 BMW Championship.

But things could get awkward very quickly if he makes the same mistake he did at 17 on Sunday. He needs to make the most of Riviera’s easy par-5s, or else someone else might beat him.

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