Patrick Cantlay in contention to defend BMW Championship

Patrick Cantlay surges to the top of the leaderboard on day three as he looks to defend the BMW Championship, and the FedEx Cup.

Andy Roberts's picture
Sat, 20 Aug 2022
Patrick Cantlay in contention to defend BMW Championship

Defending champion Patrick Cantlay raced to the top of the leaderboard on day three of the BMW Championship. 

Cantlay is not only looking to go back-to-back at the BMW Championship (albeit at a different venue at Wilmington this week) but he is also looking to defend the FedEx Cup that concludes at the Tour Championship next week. 

The American carded a solid 6-under 65 to move to 12-under par and one shot clear of compatriots Xander Schauffele and Scott Stallings, who both posted rounds of 66.

World No.1 Scottie Scheffler (68) and Adam Scott (69) are lurking two shots off the pace on 10-under par, with Collin Morikawa (65) and Aaron Wise (67) in a tie for sixth on 9-under par. 

As things stand, Cantlay is now leading the FedEx Cup ahead of Scheffler. 

Take a look at the projected standings in the FedEx Cup as things stand right now

Cantlay opened with three birdies on the front before handing a shot back at the 11th when missing a short three-foot putt for par, but then he ignited thereafter from the 12th.

He rolled home birdies on the 12th and 13th before firing the shot of the day at the 14th when holing out his third shot for eagle to vault into the outright lead. 

WATCH CANTLAY'S HOLE-OUT EAGLE: 

Cantlay would carelessly drop a shot on the 17th when missing yet another short putt for par but he would instantly get it back when draining an eight-footer for birdie on 18 to restore the outright lead. 

Incredibly, Cantlay is going in search of his first win of the season, having come closest with two playoff losses at the Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage.

Schauffele, who has played every round with Cantlay this week, is looking to win for the third time in his last five starts on Tour. 

Rory McIlroy (70) fell out the blocks with two consecutive bogeys but he would recover well on the back nine, albeit finishing with a sloppy three-putt bogey on 18, to lie five shots behind on 7-under par in a tie for 10th. 

There was a moment of drama on the 15th for McIlroy, who did not take kindly to a golf fan sending a remote control golf ball onto the green. 

McIlroy picked it up and launched it straight into the water!

Jordan Spieth started the day brightly with two early birdies on the first four holes, and with it move into a share of the lead.

But things quickly went downhill ever since he ignored his caddie's advice on the 5th hole en route to a double-bogey six. 

Spieth ended up with a round of 74 to fall back to 4-under par. 

FedEx Cup leader Will Zalatoris was forced to withdraw in round three due to injury.

No matter what happens in the final round on Sunday, he will start in third place in the FedEx Cup standings entering the Tour Championship next week.

BMW CHAMPIONSHIP R3 LEADERBOARD

-12 P Cantlay (US)
-11 X Schauffele, S Stallings (US)
-10 A Scott (Aus), S Scheffler
-9 C Morikawa, A Wise (US)

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