Patrick Cantlay surprisingly pulls out of PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic

The John Deere Classic does not have the strongest field in golf year in and year out, but the event typically features a handful of stars.

Jordan Spieth will tee it up this year. As will defending champion and Ryder Cup star Sepp Straka. This year’s event also includes International stars Sungjae Im and Jason Day, 2023 American Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson, and 2009 Champion Golfer of the Year Stewart Cink.

But Patrick Cantlay, who the tour had listed in the original John Deere Classic field, decided to withdraw on Monday. Scotsman Russell Knox will replace him in the field.

The tour did not specify why Cantlay withdrew.

Yet, if Cantlay had remained in the field, it would have marked his first appearance at the John Deere Classic. TPC Deere Run has hosted this event since 2000.

Another notable withdrawal is Cameron Davis, who won the Rocket Mortgage Classic this past week for the second time in his career. His win in Detroit also vaulted him up the FedEx Cup rankings and gave him exemptions into next year’s Masters, The Players, and all eight Signature Events. As such, Davis felt obligated to take the week off and soak in his victory, which certainly did not come easy both on and off the golf course. Had Akshay Bhatia not three-putted, Davis would have likely faced Bhatia in a sudden-death playoff, and who knows how that would have shaken out. But Davis was the lone man to finish at 18-under as he happily stood atop the leaderboard after 72 holes.

As for Cantlay, his last appearance came at the Travelers Championship, where he tied for fifth. The week before, the former UCLA Bruin turned in the best major performance of his career, tying for third at Pinehurst No. 2. It seems he has found something as of late, an impressive development given that Cantlay has had a sporadic season. Before the U.S. Open, his best two finishes came at Riviera and Hilton Head, tying for third and fourth, respectively. But he also struggled at the Players, the PGA Championship, and the Memorial. He did not have his best stuff at the Masters, either.

Cantlay is also not listed among the entrants for next week’s Genesis Scottish Open, the final tune-up for The Open Championship at Royal Troon. As such, all signs point to golf fans seeing Cantlay next at golf’s oldest major championship in two weeks’ time.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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