LIV rumors have followed Patrick Cantlay. I asked him why

Patrick Cantlay joined the Drop Zone podcast from Kapalua.

Patrick Cantlay spoke to the Drop Zone podcast ahead of this week's Tournament of Champions.

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KAPALUA, Hawaii — Patrick Cantlay hasn’t spent much time trying to control the message.

“I don’t give it too much thought,” he says of his public perception. “I try to be authentically myself in every interaction that I have, even with media. And I try to speak truthfully and speak on things based in reality. And I don’t give too much credence to rumors myself. I can’t control what people are saying out there.”

If that sounds like a man at peace with the breathless musings of the blogosphere, well, that’s a good start to understanding Cantlay. He doesn’t use social media and he doesn’t even own a computer, so if people are talking about him online he’s not even aware of it in real time.

We’re on the back porch of my Kapalua rental, two days before the start of the 2023 season, microphones in hand. I’ve convinced Cantlay to come on our Drop Zone podcast to help people get to know him better and to break down the state of the professional golf world and also to address these rumors that he’s mostly unaware of. So here he is, speaking in his characteristic Cantlay cadence: stoic, sure, but thoughtful and engaged, too.

As a jumping-off point, let’s address the elephant in the room. Is there any truth to those Cantlay-to-LIV rumors? It makes sense that the professional golf world has remained on high alert, given the goings-on of the last 10 months. Some PGA Tour pros have left suddenly. Others have said one thing and done another. There were semi-regular defections every few weeks, for a while. We grew conditioned to look for the next likely names. By now, most of the remaining top pros have expressed their loyalty to the PGA Tour. Cantlay hasn’t really done that; he doesn’t see the point. Speculation has followed.

Here’s how that exchange went.

Dylan: “Let’s just start with the simple question, and you sort of just addressed this in your press conference. Are you going to LIV? And if that’s a complex answer, then you can tell me why.”

Patrick Cantlay: “No, it’s not a complex answer. I have no plans to go to LIV and haven’t for a while, and that’s been my stance.

“I think it’s funny when people say ‘chaotic’ about how golf has been. I understand exactly why you would say that, but I think that’s very relative. If you look at other sports, other sports are way more chaotic than golf … MLB baseball has gone on strike I think nine times in the last 30 years, and other sports have gone through similar things and golf’s never had a strike. And so I just think that it was inevitable that after so much time of consistency and no disruption, that eventually something disruptive was going to come about. And that seems to be LIV.”

The are-you-or-aren’t-you was in many ways the least interesting part of the conversation because it leaves little room for nuance. There’s plenty more he says on the subject. And on the decision-making process. And on voicing unpopular opinions. And playing gin rummy. And going through painstaking steps to prepare his body for golf. And what he wishes golf media would do better. Come for the LIV talk, sure, but I hope you stay to hear a golfer who thinks about things from a different perspective than most of his peers.

You can hear the full conversation in the embed below or on Spotify or Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to pods. Enjoy!

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