The X-Man and Patty Ice

At the beginning of this month, they repaired to Napa Valley – the Californian wine resort which staged a PGA occasion the next week – with their respective companions for a vacation. Many have requested whether or not Cantlay – who had received the $15m FedExCup every week earlier – might need picked up the tab.

Their 2&1 win over Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick on Saturday spoke of mutual belief in addition to a solidity that’s well-suited to matchplay golf. Admittedly, they made a nasty botch of the third gap – the place Cantlay’s tough bunker shot rolled again off the inexperienced and left them enjoying twice in a row. (Never an excellent look.) But Schauffele sank a 31-foot monster on the seventh to tie up the match once more, and they accelerated away with a three-hole successful sequence – 9 to 11 – in opposition to an uninspired English pair.

So the place do these nicknames come from? X-Man ought to be self-explanatory for Xander Schauffele, however “Patty Ice” is extra difficult. It refers again to a different nickname – Matty Ice – which in flip is the moniker of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

Ryan has apparently been identified since his high-school days for his potential to give you the products at crucial moments. “People started saying has ice in his veins,” one teenage modern instructed ESPN. The identical is true of Cantlay, who solely earned his new moniker final month when he beat his American team-mate Bryson DeChambeau on the sixth sudden-death play-off gap of the BMW Championship.

Like Paddington the Bear, Cantlay excels within the artwork of the laborious stare. You may see it on the sixth inexperienced, the place Westwood anticipated to be given a tiddler of below three foot, however noticed not a flicker when he seemed his opponents within the eye.

It has been a protracted street for Cantlay to succeed in his current eminence. Part of the so-called Class of 2011 – a bunch of excellent school golfers that additionally included Schauffele, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas – he stood on the high of the world’s novice rankings for a file 55 weeks. But when this brat pack all turned professional, his career entered what Hollywood varieties name “development hell”.

The hold-up stemmed from a number of elements together with a lingering again drawback and a personal tragedy: the demise of his good friend, caddie and UCLA team-mate Chris Roth in a hit-and-run accident in California in 2016. “I just felt like I kept getting kicked in the teeth over and over and over,” Cantlay has stated. But he lastly received his first PGA title on the finish of 2017, and arrived in Wisconsin because the newly elected PGA Tour participant of the year.

Cantlay admits to being a pure introvert, which is one motive why his relationship with the gregarious Roth was so vital to him. Yet he appears to have discovered himself liberated by the partisan environment of a house Ryder Cup. Most gamers name for quiet on the primary tee, as they step as much as hit their opening drive. On Saturday, although, he gestured to the gang to make as a lot noise as attainable, and stored conducting all of them the best way round.

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