Cantlay sparks U.S. to 3-1 afternoon win in Rome

Mark Schlabach, ESPN Senior WriterSep 30, 2023, 02:00 PM ET

CloseSenior college football writer Author of seven books on college football Graduate of the University of Georgia

GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy — As soon as Patrick Cantlay‘s third straight birdie fell into the cup on the 18th hole at Marco Simone Golf Club on Saturday, he pretended to take off his hat and salute the crowd. The rest of the American players turned and waved their hats at European fans.

The United States trails 10½-5½ after two days of the 44th Ryder Cup and would need the largest comeback in history to retain the trophy. But finally, after what was a largely forgettable weekend, the Americans have some momentum, thanks to Cantlay and a disputed report from the British media.

Cantlay, the fifth-ranked player in the world, made a 43-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to beat Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and England’s Matt Fitzpatrick 1 up in the final match of the day. Cantlay and U.S. Open winner Wyndham Clark were 1 down with three holes to play before Cantlay made a 10½-footer to match McIlroy’s birdie on the 16th and sank a 10-footer to tie the match on the par-3 17th.

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