Written by: Andrew Reid
This story originally appeared on Yahoo Sport Australia.
Bryson DeChambeau has cemented his reputation as one of the golfing world’s most divisive characters, during a dramatic playoff defeat against Patrick Cantlay at the BMW Championship.
Cantlay forced a playoff after nailing a long birdie putt at the 18th hole, before finally prevailing after six additional holes in one of the most dramatic finishes in recent memory.
DeChambeau had several chances to win the event and take pole position in the race for the $US15 million FedEx Cup trophy, with just the Tour Championship remaining.
As it turned out though, Cantlay’s against-the-odds victory puts him at the top of the leaderboard in the FedEx Cup point standings, and a shot at golf’s biggest payday.
There were a few testy moments between the only two players who had a chance to win all day.
DeChambeau was rolling his eyes when Cantlay marked and studied 2-foot par putts on the front nine.
The most contentious moment came at the 14th though when DeChambeau backed off hitting his approach shot and grumpily asked Cantlay to stop walking nearby.
The tetchy incident summed up the final round drama, with no apparent love lost between the American compatriots.
DeChambeau came within millimetres of winning on the third playoff hole, only to see his putt lip out of the cup.
The big-hitting American then had to draw on his recovery prowess after finding the water off the tee, on the next playoff hole.
DeChambeau put a laser-like approach to within eight feet of the hole, before draining the putt to make an unlikely par and keep the playoff going.
However, the World No.6 merely delayed the final outcome as some clutch putting for Cantlay sealed a famous win at the sixth playoff hole.
DeChambeau missed a 6-foot putt for 59 on Friday and missed four birdie putts to win in regulation and in the playoff on Sunday.
Patrick Cantlay pounces on Bryson DeChambeau’s misses
His most important missed putt of the week was from just inside 10 feet to extend the playoff.
It cost him a victory that looked like it was his all along but Cantlay proved unflappable at Caves Valley Golf Club.
He made putts from 8 feet for par, 8 feet for bogey and 20 feet for birdie on the final three holes of regulation for a 6-under 66, the last one to force a playoff.
He holed par putts of 6 feet and 7 feet on the 18th hole in the playoff.
The last one gave Cantlay the victory, his PGA Tour-leading third of the season.
It took him top of the FedExCup standings and the sixth and final automatic spot on the US Ryder Cup team.
Cantlay will start the Tour Championship on Thursday with a two-shot lead based on his standings as the three-pronged playoffs for the US$15 million ($A20m) top prize.
This was a tough loss for DeChambeau, who also closed with a 66.
He and Cantlay finished at 27-under 261.
Sungjae Im birdied his last two holes for a 67 to finish third at 23 under while Rory McIlroy closed with a 67 for fourth.
There was drama all over Caves Valley, even without a trophy at stake.
Erik van Rooyen of South Africa catapulted himself into the top 30 with a closing 65 earning him solo fifth while Sergio Garcia (69) is headed back to East Lake for the first time since 2017 after moving up from 44th to 28th in the standings.
Cameron Smith (68, 11 under) will carry Australian hopes in Atlanta, the Queenslander ranked fifth in the season-long standings to tee it up five shots adrift of Cantlay in the stroke-play handicap event.
His compatriots Cam Davis, Marc Leishman and Matt Jones were unable to get themselves into the top 30.
Sunday was a big disappointment for DeChambeau, who appeared to have it wrapped up when he birdied the par-5 16th for a one-shot lead, and then watched Cantlay put it in the water on the next hole.
Instead, his only big moment was saving par after driving into the stream right of the 18th fairway on the fourth extra hole.
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