Interview with Patrick Cantlay

All Square has spoken to world number six Patrick Cantlay during Tuesday’s practice day as he prepares to make his debut at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.

The American spoke about playing in his first-ever European Tour event and how he plans to become the world’s number-one-ranked player.

This is you first visit to Abu Dhabi, what are you first impressions about the place?

Everything seems great. I’ve played nine holes on the golf course and will play nine more this afternoon. The golf course seems good. So I’m excited for Thursday to come around so I can start my first European Tour event.

Is this part of a plan to be a more global player and play outside of the United States more often?

I think it’s important to play all over the world, not only just for growing-the-game purposes, but it’s good as a golfer to see different places and get comfortable playing all over. I think that’s part of it.

Both the PGA and European Tour play a global schedule, especially in the last decade. I think it will continue to be a more global game. We’ve seen that with the World Golf Championships. It’s good to play in different places and experience different cultures and see what the world is like.

This is your first European Tour event. What made you come here to Abu Dhabi? Other Americans have played well here. Did anyone say anything specific to you?

I talked to Rickie (Fowler, who won this event in 2016). He enjoyed his time here. Obviously he won; he told me how great a list of champions this place had, kind of needling me a little bit.

It’s a good way to start the year, playing some desert golf, which is more target golf. 

What are your initial impressions of the golf course?

It’s in good shape. I’ve only played nine, but the fairways look narrow which I like. So it should be all good.

You are world number six today. Did you expect to be in the top 10 at the beginning of last year? And what are your goals for this year in terms of your world ranking?

Obviously the goal is to be number one. I’m doing everything in my power to prep for events to win them, which is the way to get there. 

I don’t know if I expected to be there; I don’t really think of it in terms like that. But I definitely prepared like I was going there. That’s the plan and that’s how I’m going to continue to prepare for events. And I think if you show up to every event ready to win and prepared to win, that’s as good as you can do.

What are your thoughts about the little storm that happened in Hawaii last week? (TV coverage overheard Cantlay using the F-word during an exchange with his caddie at the Tournament of Champions).

I obviously didn’t know that I was on camera and mic’d-up. Now that I know this is happening more often, I’ll definitely be more aware of it!

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