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Patrick Cantlay is well accustomed to facing criticism on the golf course. 

The pantomime villain of last year’s Ryder Cup had taken heat for his pace of play long before the pay storm which engulfed that epic match in Rome. And the world No.8’s decisions on the course have come under fire once more at this week’s RBC Heritage.

A storm that caused a two-and-a-half hour delay at Hilton Head on Sunday left players scrambling to finish their rounds ahead of a Monday finish to the tournament.

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler was already turning another Signature PGA Tour event into another rout and won his fourth event in five starts when play resumed.

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But Cantlay, among Scheffler’s closest challengers five shots back in tied second on Sunday, raised eyebrows after the horn was blown to end the day’s play.

Players are allowed to finish the hole they are playing after the horn goes and Cantlay looked destined to do just that in the dying light as he decided to hit his 214-yard approach shot on 18 in gusty conditions.

But after his ball settled on the collar of the green, Cantlay deliberated whether to finish the hole, before eventually choosing to mark his ball and return for his birdie effort on Monday morning.

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The decision to not just finish off the hole did not go down well on social media, with Ryder Cup legend Ian Woosnam among those to question the American’s thinking.

“Can’t believe my eyes watching Patrick Cantlay,” the Welshman wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Why on earth would you hit your second shot then mark your ball absolutely crazy, maybe says a lot.”

Regardless, Cantlay’s decision ultimately paid off as he returned early on Monday and two-putted from 66ft to post 15-under, which was enough for a tie for third with Wyndham Clark.

Defending his decision afterwards, Cantlay said: “Just thought it might be easier to get the ball up-and-down this morning.

“I really did want to finish last night, so I felt like if I could get the ball up there maybe in an easier spot, maybe I would have finished, but as I got the ball up near the green, I realised it would be easier to finish this morning. That’s what I decided to do.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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