Patrick Cantlay: What does it take to successfully defend your title?

Words by
Josh Coles
Patrick Cantlay: What does it take to successfully defend your title?

Patrick Cantlay's successful defence of the BMW Championship has put the world number 4 in a great position to defend the FedEx Cup, the PGA Tour's season long title. The American is number two on the list, just behind Scottie Scheffler, and his game is very well rounded across OTT, APP, ARG and PUTT. But what else does Clippd tell us about his game right now?

1. He's razor sharp from the rough

The man known as Patty shot his lowest round of the week on Saturday. His six-under-par 65 propelled him to the top of the leaderboard going into the final day. What's interesting is his 65 was his second worst OTT round and his worst performance for PUTT. What really stood out was his APP play from the rough, which drove a phenomenal Average Shot Quality score of 133 in his APP play. It also ensured Cantlay became a member of the Clippd 200 Club after holing out from 104 yards for an eagle on the par-5 14th!

Cantlay is now a member of Clippd's famed 200 Club!

2. His short game is his super power

Cantlay is currently inside the top 10 on the PGA Tour for Scrambling and this finesse around the greens was on show throughout the week. His Average Shot Quality for ARG across the four rounds was a frankly ridiculous 124. In his third round, his four ARG shots produced an Average Shot Quality of 143, with an Average Proximity to Hole of 3'2". The tour average is 7'10".

3. He's missing in the right places

There's no doubt the 30-year-old played exceptional golf throughout the week but he also hit some less than exquisite golf shots. Throughout the four rounds he had 17 shots that scored 0-40 for Shot Quality on Clippd. When he missed, he seemed to miss in the right places. And when he didn't, as on the 17th on Sunday, he got the kind of lucky bounce that every tournament winner needs his fair share of.

The misses during round 3 did not end up hurting Cantlay too much

4. His putting is consistently solid

Cantlay's Shot Quality Tracker for his putting in the final round shows a level of consistency. Across the four rounds his highest Average Shot Quality for PUTT was 105 in on the final day. His lowest was 98 during the Round 3, when he shot 65 and drained a 44-footer on the 1st for birdie which scored 195 for Shot Quality.

Patrick's PUTT Shot Quality Tracker for Round 4

5. There's still room for improvement OTT

Cantlay's OTT game was at a lower standard than usual last week but it's not hurting him. He produced only one round that crept past an Average Shot Quality of 100 (the expectation of tour average), and that was only by one point. His worst performance was an Average Shot Quality of 88 in Round 2 (see below). His current Player Quality for OTT is 101, the lowest in the four departments of his game that Clippd measures. Being at 108 for APP and 110 for ARG suggests that he doesn't have too much cause for concern.

How many shots would Cantlay have won by if his OTT game was on point?