Patrick Cantlay not a fan of the PIP, says it’s leading to some unruly fan behavior

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ATLANTA – Patrick Cantlay has some sympathy for Bryson DeChambeau.

He has nothing but apathy for the PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program, which was created this year by the PGA Tour and rewards the top 10 players measured by several metrics of popularity and slices a $40 million pie between those top needle-movers.

Cantlay played 24 holes alongside DeChambeau on Sunday in the BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland – 18 in regulation and then six more in an instant playoff classic he would win with a 17-foot birdie. Throughout the day, DeChambeau was subjected to unruly fan behavior featuring regular taunts of “Brooksie,” a byproduct of the tiff DeChambeau has had with Brooks Koepka for more than two years.

“Naturally, of course, there is some sympathy because you don’t want to see anybody have a bunch of people be against you or even be heckled,” Cantlay said Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s start of the Tour Championship, the FedEx Cup Playoffs finale. As a result of his win in the BMW Championship, Cantlay took over the lead and has a two-shot advantage heading into the first round.

“Unfortunately, it might be a symptom of a larger problem, which is social media driven and which is potentially Player Impact Program derived,” Cantlay added. “I think when you have people that go for attention-seeking maneuvers, you leave yourself potentially open to having the wrong type of attention, and I think maybe that’s where we’re at and it may be a symptom of going for too much attention.”

Read Patrick Cantlay’s and Rory McIlroy’s full comments

DeChambeau is certainly a regular in social media circles, posting plenty of videos of his workouts, speed drills and his Herculean work with the driver. He’s a popular figure in the social media biosphere but is also a frequent target for criticism for his posts on Facebook, Instagram, and such.

“It can be awesome, too, because if you succeed and you act perfect all the time and you do the perfect things all the time, and then you also go for the right attention-seeking moves, you get like double bonus points because everyone loves you and you’re on the perfect side of it,” Cantlay said. “I think it’s just a very live-by-the-sword, die-by-the-sword type of deal. And when you leave it to a jury, you don’t know what’s going to happen.

“So it’s hard to get all 12 people on a jury on your side.

“Or even if you have 98 percent of the 10,000 people in the gallery pulling for you,” Cantlay said. “The other 200 can cause problems.”

“If those people have had enough to drink or feel emboldened enough to say something because they want to impress the girl they’re standing next to, then, yeah, like, you’re in trouble,” Cantlay said. “People are going to say bad things.

“If you only have 2 percent of the people that are very against you because you’re polarizing and because you’re attention-seeking, then you’re kind of dead because those people are going to be loud, and they’re going to want to say something to get under your skin.

“Maybe people have watched too much Happy Gilmore and they don’t feel enough sympathy for Shooter McGavin. I don’t know. I don’t know the answer.”

Cantlay said he doesn’t think he’s doing well in the PIP. He’s more interested in being true to himself and being the best golfer he can be.

“I may not be the cookie cutter golfer,” he said. “I may not look or have the same expressions as everybody else, but I think if I’m true to myself and I just act naturally for me, it will come across that I’m being natural, and if I play well and am myself, I think it will all work out.

“I don’t get too caught up in under-appreciated or unsung or things like that. I don’t think it helps. And so I think it does help to practice and focus as much as I can to produce the best golf I possibly can.”

Now, if he were to earn a share of the PIP millions, he knows what he’d do.

“I would be compelled to give all that money back to the fans that made it possible, because there’s no way a person like me should be able to get into the top 10 of the PIP if not for people out there deciding that they want me to be in the top 10 and to try to get some of that PIP money for themselves,” Cantlay said. “Because if I win PIP money, I am going to give it back to the people that made it possible in some way, shape or form. I won’t take any of the PIP money. I think it’s kind of ridiculous and I think it’s, when I said there’s a symptom of a larger problem, I think that’s exactly what I’m talking about.”

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