‘Absolute Travesty’ – Golf World Outraged Over Patrick Cantlay Winning PGA Tour Player of the Year Award

Published 09/15/2021, 6:42 AM EDT
Sep 5, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Patrick Cantlay walks off the 1st green during the final round of the Tour Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports


The 2020-21 PGA Tour season witnessed a grand conclusion at the Tour Championship. Patrick Cantlay held off Jon Rahm at East Lake to become the FedExCup Champion. This marked his fourth win of the season, and eventually, Cantlay was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year. But not everyone agrees that he’s a deserving winner. 

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Patrick Cantlay enjoyed the 2020-21 PGA Tour season right from the start. He reigned supreme at the ZOZO championship and went on to win two more titles before clinching the Tour Championship. No player had won four titles in a single season since Justin Thomas did it during 2016-17.

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How did Patrick Cantlay react to winning the Jack Nicklaus Trophy? 

Patrick Cantlay had to go through a lot on the PGA Tour. He did not enjoy every season that he played since joining the tour in 2014. At one point, Cantlay even considered premature retirement from the sport, but here he is now, after having etched his place in history. 

The PGA Tour player of the year is presented with the Jack Nicklaus Trophy and is awarded on a voting basis. The Tour Membership holders are the ones who get to vote, and hence, a lot of Cantlay’s peers thought he thoroughly deserved to win it in 2020. 

Sep 5, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Patrick Cantlay holds up the trophy after winning the Tour Championship. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

“The fact that it’s voted on by my fellow PGA Tour players, I think that means a lot to me,” Cantlay said. “It wasn’t something that I necessarily thought was on the radar middle of the year, but then I closed really well and played a lot of really nice golf towards the end.”

Cantlay played 24 events last season and won four times. He accumulated seven Top 10 finishes and finished in the Top 25 17 times. A healthy consistent record indeed. 

How did golf fans take in Cantlay’s victory? 

Naturally, the opinions were mixed. While some fans welcomed Patrick Cantlay as a deserving winner, others didn’t. A majority of golf fans argued that Jon Rahm deserved it more owing to his sublime season. Rahm picked up just one win (U.S. Open 2021) over the course of the season, but he was incredibly consistent. 

Here’s a look at what some users had to say: 

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Arjun Athreya

2107 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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