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Patrick Cantlay - From No 1 Amateur to Pro Golfer
Patrick Cantlay - Background
Patrick Cantlay is a golfer from the US who was born on 17th March 1992 in Long Beach California. He is currently a freshman at UCLA having started playing golf at the age of 3.
Not much has been heard about Cantlay (out of UCLA) until the last few years when he started winning a number of prizes. In 2010 he was second in strokeplay in the US Amateur and helped the UCLA Bruins to win 4 titles.
But it was really in 2011 that he came to the forefront, winning National Freshman of the Year, the GCAA Jack Nicklaus Award for Division I National Player of the Year and the PAC-10 Conference Play of the Year. No doubt further accolades will follow and this year he has so far had two exceptional events, the first being top amateur at the US Open and the second shooting the lowest score for an amateur in a PGA event.
Despite finishing runner up in the US Amateur championship in 2011, Patrick Cantlay was the world number 1 amateur golfer.
Patrick Cantlay - Best Amateur, US Open 2011
So Patrick Cantlay was one of 3 amateurs to make the cut for the US Open in 2011. The other two were Russell Henley and Brad Benjamin. Cantlay easily made the cut at even par and went on to win the US Open best Amateur title in 21st place, retaining his even par score over the last two rounds with scores of 70 and 72.
As well as this, he did have the honour of having the best back 9 score in the US Open when he shot a 30 in his second round, beating even Rory Mcilroy.
Patrick Cantlay finished joint 21st at the US Open. Normally this result would have won him $97,242 but as an amateur he does not get any money from playing. He seems happy enough with this right now, just wanting to continue to 'be a kid', play golf and go to college. For a lot of people that would be big money to not get but he seems to be very down to earth about it (or else he doesn't need it!).
Patrick Cantlay Interview, July 2011
Patrick Cantlay - Lowest Score By an Amateur
On 24th June 2011, Patrick Cantlay went one better and shot a lowest ever score by an amateur in a PGA event by shooting a 60 at the Travellers Championship at TPC River Highlands, setting a course record at the same time. This feat did not pass by Rory McIlroy who tweeted
"Patrick Cantlay......... RESPECT!!"
shortly afterwards. Having shot such an amazing score, where will Patrick Cantlay go next? Well, as he is only a freshman at UCLA, he still has a few years to go there so maybe we will only see him in amongst the big boys in a couple of years time. But until then he is definitely a golfer to look out for.
Patrick Cantlay - Walker Cup 2011
So Patrick Cantlay has been named as one of the amateur golfers to play for the US in the Walker Cup in September 2011. The Walker Cup is really like an amateur version of the Ryder Cup and is played every other year (on the odd numbered years). the main difference of the Walker Cup to the Ryder Cup, apart from the fact that the Walker Cup is only open to amateur golfers, is that the Walker Cup pits the US against Great Britain and Ireland rather than the whole of Europe.
The Walker Cup will take place in Aberdeen, Scotland on 10-10 September 2011. So far 3 other amateur US golfers have also been named in the team and they are: Peter Uihlein, Russell Henley and Harris English.
2012 - Patrick Cantlay Turns Pro
In June 2012, Patrick Cantlay took the decision to turn pro and signed with the same agent as Tiger Woods. There are pros and cons in turning professional with the obvious pro being that you can earn money from your golf and accept paychecks for the winnings you accumulate in tournaments. The cons are that you need to make sure that you qualify for the tournaments that you want to play in (particularly the majors that might have been easier to get into as an amateur).