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Patrick Cantlay has earned just over three million dollars in his first eight starts of the PGA Tour season. Trending in the right direction, as they say.
Including four top-10s, the 28-year-old also secured his third career win at the ZOZO Championship in October last year. And, on Thursday last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, he equalled the course record of ten-under (62), picking up seven shots on the front nine alone by going out in 29.
Cantlay’s coach Jamie Mulligan says his player his “getting stronger in the gym”, which is proving to help his all-round game.
“We are working on the same thing we have been for the last 20 years, without any changes at all to the long game, short game, and putting,” Mulligan, below, told bunkered.co.uk. “We are into efficiency and economy of movement.”
Mulligan is part of the three man team that monitors the young American’s progress. Matt Minister, Cantlay’s caddie, and his manager, Preston Valder, also overlook his practice sessions before each round.
A natural drawer of the ball, 90% of Cantlay’s shots on the range are actually hit from left-to-right. He’ll hit one draw with each club in the bag, but Mulligan prefers to work on the shot that he is least comfortable with.
“His warm ups and practice are based on quality, not quantity,” he says. “We depend a lot on physio and gym work. The swing, putting stroke and chipping are just one portion of the equation.”
Mulligan says Cantlay’s ascension in the world rankings – he is currently the world No.8 – is just a by-product of his hard work and commitment. When asked if Cantlay had any aspirations of becoming world No.1, Mulligan said: “Patrick has always been more about the process than the bottom line. A goal would be to become the best he can be, which would take care of the wins (regular and majors), as well as world rankings.”
It’s often believed that goal-orientated work helps an athlete visualise where they want to be, but Cantlay stays in the moment. He plays every shot as it comes and, as a result, is unburdened by any kind of expectation.
Not only is this mental approach conducive to low scoring, Mulligan suggests this provides a balance and perspective that can be carried over into everyday life.
“He is a pleasure to work with; as a coach, I couldn’t ask for more. He is diligent, intelligent, has a sense of humour, understands the concepts, loves to play and compete, and is never afraid to put quality work in,” he says.
“Off the course, he has a great take on life and is a pleasure to be around for all of our team as well as his friends.”
Cantlay currently leads the PGA Tour’s FedExCup rankings ahead of Xander Schauffele and Dustin Johnson.
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