It had been exactly 100 days since Patrick Cantlay had last been seen at a golf tournament when he sat down in front of the media at Kapalua on Tuesday.
Following the Ryder Cup in September, the reigning FedExCup champion elected to take a sabbatical, and he hasn’t competed in an individual Tour event since the Tour Championship earlier that month. Cantlay was the only top-10 player who didn’t compete in an autumn event or the Hero World Challenge, though he also doesn’t appear to have spent much of his $15 million East Lake prize.
“I did some workouts and just hung around at home,” Cantlay explained. “I travel so much playing golf all over that spending time at home is really nice, and not having to get up too much, you know, is really restful for me because I go so hard and play so many tournaments and practice to get ready for those tournaments throughout the year that it’s nice to just decompress and take some time off at home.”
So, there’s nothing exciting here? Not if reading on the couch isn’t included.
“I enjoy watching golf, so I watched the game,” Cantlay continued, “and even though I was sitting at home watching, no part of me believed it would be better if I was playing.”
“However, Cantlay was delighted to dust off the clubs and fly to sunny Hawaii after a few wet days in Southern California, where the Cali native spent the holidays. He talked about taking it easy on himself in his first tournament back, but the world No. 4 is looking forward to a big year after a two-win season.
“It may sound ridiculous, but I believe that success generates success,” Cantlay explained. “I believe that the more golf tournaments you win, the more at ease you become when you’re coming down the stretch of a tournament near the lead or in the lead.” So, the more times you succeed under duress, the more likely you are to do so in the future, in my opinion. So, from that viewpoint, it was really beneficial because I finished a lot of tournaments and matches at the Ryder Cup on a high note, and I believe that carryover, those happy memories, will only benefit me in the future.”