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Patrick Cantlay wins playoff at Memorial after Jon Rahm's COVID-19 exit

Patrick Cantlay, shown April 5, 2021, closed with a 1-under 71 and beat Collin Morikawa with a par on the first playoff hole Sunday at the Memorial Tournament. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Patrick Cantlay, shown April 5, 2021, closed with a 1-under 71 and beat Collin Morikawa with a par on the first playoff hole Sunday at the Memorial Tournament. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

June 6 (UPI) -- Patrick Cantlay closed with a 1-under 71 and beat 24-year-old Collin Morikawa with a par on the first playoff hole to win the Memorial Tournament on Sunday at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.

It was Cantlay's fourth PGA Tour win and his second of the season. He also won the Zozo Championship in October after rallying from a three-shot deficit to beat Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm.

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Cantlay became the seventh player to win multiple times at Memorial, a list that includes five-time winner Tiger Woods and tournament founder Jack Nicklaus, who won twice.

Cantlay's victory came about 24 hours after Rahm was forced to withdraw from the tournament because of a positive COVID-19 test. Rahm built a six-shot lead before his withdrawal.

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"I would much rather have faced him down today and shot an extremely low round and beat him that way," Cantlay said. "But unfortunately, there's nothing I can do.

"I did everything I could with the cards I was dealt, and I really did a good job of focusing today on the task at hand and staying present. And that's all you can do in this game."

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The Tour said Saturday that Rahm had been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to his placement in the contact tracing program.

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Rahm was informed of the positive test after tying the 54-hole record at 18-under 198. His six-stroke advantage tied the Memorial record set by Woods.

"We're all devastated," said Nicklaus, who shook hands with Cantlay following his victory. "I wish we could figure out how to give Jon three-fourths of the trophy."

Cantlay and Morikawa, who missed a 6-foot par putt to extend the playoff, both finished at 13-under 275. Scottie Scheffler, who came in third at 11-under par, bogeyed the final hole for a 70 to finish two shots out of the playoff.

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Branden Grace ended at 10-under 278 for fourth place, while Patrick Reed finished 8-under par for fifth.

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