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Pro Bruin Rundown: Patrick Cantlay takes 8th at major, Jessie Fleming earns tournament Best XI honors

UCLA men’s golf alumnus Patrick Cantlay follows through on a drive. Cantlay finished tied for eighth at The Open Championship. (Courtesy of Don Liebig)

By Sam Settleman

July 22, 2022 1:01 p.m.

As UCLA Athletics takes a break for the summer, professional sports are still in full swing, with many Bruin alumni representing. Each week during the summer, Daily Bruin Sports will take a look at the standout performances of former UCLA greats from the past week as we count down the days until fall.

Men’s golf: Patrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay has strung together back-to-back top-10 finishes, highlighted by his first top-10 showing at a major in three years.

The former UCLA men’s golfer finished tied for eighth at The Open Championship in St. Andrews, Scotland, on Sunday. Cantlay’s first top-10 finish at a major since 2019 came one week after he wound up tied for fourth at the Genesis Scottish Open.

The former Bruin’s first two majors of the year saw him tied for 39th at the Masters Tournament in April before missing the cut at the PGA Championship in May. But Cantlay managed a 14th-place finish at the U.S. Open in June before breaking through on the Old Course in St. Andrews with a 12-under 276 to earn his best major finish since securing a third-place spot at the 2019 PGA Championship.

Cantlay made a push into the top 10 on day two of play with a bogey-free 31 on the front nine that featured five birdies. A 39 on the back nine Saturday left some work for him in round four Sunday, but Cantlay tallied five back-nine birdies on the final day to propel himself into an eighth-place tie with fellow Americans Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau.

The Southern California native had a career for the record books in Westwood, taking home the coveted Jack Nicklaus Award as the Division I Player of the Year in his freshman season at UCLA before turning pro after his sophomore year.

Ten years removed from his storied legacy representing the blue and gold, Cantlay is set to officially be inducted to the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in October.

Before then, however, Cantlay will cap off a season in which he currently stands as the No. 4 men’s golfer in the world.

Women’s soccer: Jessie Fleming, Canada; Ashley Sanchez, United States

Jessie Fleming stood atop the goal leaderboard, but her team settled for second.

The former UCLA women’s soccer midfielder led Canada to a runner-up finish at the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship in Monterrey, Mexico, on Monday. The U.S. – featuring former Bruin forward Ashley Sanchez – took down Fleming and Canada in the tournament final, courtesy of a late penalty kick.

Both countries went unscathed through group play with a pair of 3-0-0 records before each cruising to 3-0 semifinal wins. Neither team could get on the scoreboard in the final before the U.S. drew a penalty kick that forward Alex Morgan slotted into the back of the net in the 78th minute.

Fleming fired a shot toward goal in the 84th minute, but Canada ultimately failed to equalize, falling 1-0 to the U.S.

The Canadian midfielder was the co-leading scorer in the tournament with three goals across five matches, tacking on two steals in 456 minutes played to earn a spot on the tournament Best XI.

While Sanchez didn’t appear in the final, she scored her first goal of the tournament in the 95th minute of her team’s win over Costa Rica in the semifinals.

Rising graduate student midfielder Maricarmen Reyes represented Mexico and rounded out the three Bruins competing in the tournament. While Reyes and Mexico failed to make it out of the group stage with three losses in three matches, the Bruin midfielder had an opportunity to compete against her former teammate in Sanchez in a match against the U.S. on July 11.

Men’s tennis: Maxime Cressy

Maxime Cressy appeared to be dead in the water.

Down a set and 3-0, he was on the verge of being broken for a second time in the second frame. But the former UCLA men’s tennis player saved the break point and found a way to hold serve.

Three straight breaks later and the deficit was in the rearview mirror, as Cressy had taken the second set with six straight games to send the match to a decisive third set. Cressy and opponent Alexander Bublik went back and forth in the final frame before the former Bruin emerged victorious in a third-set tiebreaker.

Behind the three-set win over Bublik in the finals Sunday, Cressy took home the trophy at the 2022 Infosys Hall of Fame Open in Newport, Rhode Island – his first win on the ATP Tour. En route to the title, the former All-American took down No. 2 seed John Isner – who entered the match on a 10-match winning streak – and No. 3 seed Bublik.

The tournament win propelled Cressy to a career-best No. 33 in the ATP rankings after the former Bruin began the year ranked outside the top 100. 2022 has been a breakout year for the 2019 NCAA doubles champion, who reached the finals in a tournament in June before taking down world No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round of Wimbledon.

Prior to his rise on the professional scene, Cressy accrued multiple conference and national accolades for his play during his time in Westwood. Cressy and former Bruin Keegan Smith teamed up to win the NCAA title in doubles following a year in which they went 21-0 and didn’t drop a set.

Cressy will head into the hard court season with his first title under his belt and a career-high ranking to boot.

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Sam Settleman | Sports editor
Settleman is currently the Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and gymnastics beats. He was previously an assistant editor on the gymnastics, women's soccer, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the gymnastics and women's water polo beats.
Settleman is currently the Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and gymnastics beats. He was previously an assistant editor on the gymnastics, women's soccer, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the gymnastics and women's water polo beats.
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