Patrick Cantlay earned his maiden victory on the Web.com Tour last week in Colombia. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
This week’s Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com boasts a strong field containing a mix of proven winners and young, up-and-coming players. Below is a glance at six players, aged 23 and younger, to keep an eye on this week at Trunp International.
Luke Guthrie (23) -- The Illinois alum and 2012 Web.com Tour graduate has racked up five top-30 finishes in his first seven starts this season. Last week at The Honda Classic, he finished alone in third place for the best finish of his young TOUR career.
Peter Uihlein (23) -- A former Oklahoma State standout and U.S. Amateur champion, Uihlein has posted four consecutive top-25 finishes on the European Tour and currently ranks 50th on its Order of Merit. Uihlein made 3 of 5 cuts in 2011 as an amateur playing on the PGA TOUR but was 0-for-2 last year after turning pro.
Ryo Ishikawa (21) -- In 49 events on TOUR, the young Japanese star has made less than half (24) of his cuts. One of those, however, was last year in Puerto Rico where he notched a career-best runner-up finish. Currenlty 188th in the FedExCup standings.
Patrick Cantlay (20) -- The Web.com Tour’s money leader, Cantlay earned his first professional victory last week at the Colombia Championship. He burst onto the scene in 2011 when, as an amateur, he carded a second-round 60 for the 36-hole lead at the PGA TOUR’s Travelers Championship.
Jordan Spieth (19) -- After a very successful amateur career that includes an NCAA team title at Texas, a No. 1 amateur ranking and low amateur honors at the 2012 U.S. Open, Spieth turned pro in December. He tied for 22nd at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am.
Si Woo Kim (17) -- Carded a closing 68 to earn his TOUR card with one shot to spare in the final round of q-school last year but cannot become a member until his 18th birthday in June. Missed the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am in his first-ever start on the PGA TOUR.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Patrick Cantlay already has received a sponsor's exemption for next week's Northern Trust Open. But the former UCLA standout might not have to use it if he can finish in the top 10 on Sunday.
Cantlay is currently 3 under through 11 holes at Pebble Beach. He's 9 under for the tournament, which puts him three strokes behind Brandt Snedeker. Players who finish in the top 10 earn entry into the next full-field event.
The last player to win a PGA TOUR event while playing on a sponsor's exemption was Lee Westwood at the 2010 FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Cantlay is not currently a member of the PGA TOUR. But the 20-year-old would be eligible for special temporary membership with a three-way tie for second or better -- which is important because it affords him unlimited sponsor's exemptions.
As a non-member, though, Cantlay can only accept seven sponsor's exemptions. He can play in a maximum of 12 events, counting any spots he earned by Monday qualifiying and top-10 finishes in the previous event.
Should Cantlay earn special temporary member status, he will not be eligible to receive FedExCup points. He will, however, be on the FedExCup points non-member list.
Non-members finishing with enough points to put them inside the top 125 of the final FedExCup list will earn their TOUR card for the 2013-2014 season.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Patrick Cantlay has cut Brandt Snedeker's lead to one shot with a 5-foot birdie putt at the seventh hole at Pebble Beach.
Snedeker, meanwhile, has cooled off after that birdie barrage to end the front nine. He bogeyed the 10th hole, missing the green and a 7-footer to save par; answered with a 12-foot birdie putt at No. 11 and has parred the next four holes.
Snedeker, who was runner-up in the last two PGA TOUR events, remains at 12 under. Cantlay turned pro last summer after his sophomore year at UCLA.
PGA TOUR rookies James Hahn and Patrick Reed are tied with Chris Kirk at 9 under. Hahn has played 12 holes at Spyglass Hills while Reed is through 10 and Kirk through eight at Monterey Peninsula.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- PGA TOUR rookie James Hahn made headlines for his dance moves last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
His golf is garnering the recognition on Saturday a Spyglass Hills, though, as Hahn posted a trio of birdies in his first nine holes to move within three strokes off the lead held by Brandt Snedeker. Hahn is 9 under and tied with Patrick Cantlay.
Cantlay, the 20-year-old UCLA product, is playing Pebble Beach. He eagled the fifth hole with a 6-foot putt and added a 7-footer for birdie at No. 3.
Cantlay, who tied for 95th at q-school, is playing on a sponsor's exemption this week. He can earn special temporary membership by finishing in a three-way tie for second or better this week @attproam.
Cantlay missed the cut in his first two PGA TOUR starts this year.
By Michael Curet, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
Canadian Tour veteran Jeff Rangel posted six birdies and an eagle for a 64 to earn medalist honors in the Reno-Tahoe Open’s Monday qualifier at Hidden Valley Country Club.
Patrick Cantlay and Jake Sarnoff each carded rounds of 66 to play their way into this week’s PGA TOUR stop at Montreux Golf and Country Club.
But the real drama unfolded in the five-man playoff for the final spot. On the third playoff hole, local resident John Riegger, a 49-year-old experienced tour veteran, birdied the par-3 third hole to punch the final ticket into the field.
Riegger beat out Jeff Quinney, Peter Lansburgh, Brett Okimura, and Luke Hickmott. All five golfers birdied the first playoff hole and made par on the second.
Rangel, 27, competed in last year’s Reno-Tahoe Open – his only other career PGA TOUR start. The Californian has spent the last few years playing the Canadian Tour, but also won the 2011 Northern California Open in his home state.
The 20-year-old Cantlay, who turned professional earlier this year, has made 10 of 12 cuts on the PGA TOUR. While still an amateur in 2011, Cantlay shot the lowest amateur round in PGA TOUR history with a 60 at the Travelers Championship. He also posted his first career top 10 on the PGA TOUR with a T9 at the RBC Canadian Open last summer, was low amateur at the 2011 U.S. Open and made cuts at this year’s Masters and U.S. Open.
Sarnoff, a 22-year-old native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., just completed his senior season at Loyola Marymount University,
Riegger, who turned pro in 1985, is coming back from knee surgery and playing on a major medical exemption. The former Lamar University golfer has played his best golf after the age of 40 with Web.com Tour victories at the 2007 LaSalle Bank Open and the 2010 The Rex Hospital Open. His best PGA TOUR showing was a T5 finish at the 2006 John Deere Classic.
Sixty-six players participated in Monday’s qualifier at Hidden Valley.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- Patrick Cantlay made it to the weekend for a second straight year at the Travelers Championship, only this time he won’t be sticking around.
A year after recording a course-record 60 at TPC River Highlands, Cantlay wasn’t able to overcome his opening-round 75 in his debut as a professional. The former UCLA standout finished a second-round 67 Saturday morning and missed the cut by two strokes.
“I struggled the first day and never really recovered,” said Cantlay, who tied for 24th here last year. “I didn’t make very many putts. I hit a lot of good ones, just none went in. That’s kind of how golf goes. It just happens.”
Cantlay took 31 putts in each of his two rounds this week at TPC River Highlands -- an especially high number considering he hit just 10 greens in regulation on Thursday.
This was the first of three consecutive starts for Cantlay, who will again play on a sponsor exemption at next week’s AT&T National and The Greenbrier Classic the week after. He can accept up to seven sponsor exemptions this season.
CROMWELL, Conn. -- A year ago, Patrick Cantlay recorded the lowest score ever by an amateur on the PGA TOUR with a course-record 60 in the second round of the Travelers Championship.
He might need something similar on Friday just to make it to the weekend.
Cantlay double-bogeyed two of his first three holes in his professional debut at the Travelers Championship, where he shot an opening-round 75.
This is the first of three straight starts for Cantlay, who can receive up to seven sponsor exemptions as he tries to earn his PGA TOUR card and avoid a trip to what will be the final year of q-school in its current format. After this year, players who go through q-school will only receive Nationwide Tour cards.
In five starts on TOUR as an amateur last year, Cantlay finished in the top 25 four times, including a tie for ninth at the RBC Canadian Open and a tie for 24th here.
This year has been a bit more of a struggle for the 20-year-old.
Cantlay missed the cut at the Northern Trust Open. He also tied for 47th at the Masters, though was the low amateur at Augusta National, and tied for 41st at the U.S. Open.
CROMWELL, Conn. -- David Mathis aced the 158-yard par-3 11th earlier, and he’s kept the momentum going.
The 38-year-old is 5 under through his first five holes and currently has a share of the lead at 5 under.
Patrick Cantlay’s day didn’t go nearly as well. He double-bogeyed two of his first three holes and shot 75 in his first round as a professional.
A year after shooting a course-record 60 -- the lowest round ever recorded by an amateur on the PGA TOUR -- Cantlay hit just seven fairways and 10 greens Thursday, while taking 31 putts.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- A year ago, Patrick Cantlay shot a course-record 60 at TPC River Highlands. It was the lowest score ever recorded on the PGA TOUR by an amateur.
It was also a sign.
“I realized for the first time that if I played really well, I could compete on any stage,” said Cantlay, who is foregoing his final two years at UCLA and turning pro at this week’s Travelers Championship.
The decision was a no-brainer for the 20-year-old, who was the top-ranked amateur player in the world following two years at UCLA that included numerous honors, including the Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan Awards as the nation’s top collegiate golfer.
Even as an amateur, his record was pretty impressive on the professional level.
In eight starts on TOUR, Cantlay recorded four top-25 finishes, including a tie for ninth at last year’s RBC Canadian Open. He was also the low amateur in the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, where he tied for 21st. A week later he briefly held the lead midway through the Travelers Championship before finishing in a tie for 24th.
He was also the low amateur in this year’s Masters, tying for 47th.
Hello, world, indeed for Cantlay, who signed with the same agent as Tiger Woods, Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management.
“Patrick is an outstanding individual, as well as an exceptional talent who already has proven success at the professional level,” Steinberg said. “We are excited to work with him in this new chapter of his golf career.”
That career began in earnest in Southern California, where Cantlay spent his formative years hanging around John Cook, John Mallinger, Peter Tomasulo and John Merrick, among others, at Virginia Country Club in Long Beach.
In high school, Cantlay won the state championship as a senior before winning four tournaments as a freshman at UCLA on his way to earning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors and the Haskins Award as the nation’s most outstanding college golfer in 2011.
“I think it helped me a lot; more than I know probably,” Cantlay said of his time at Virginia Country Club. “Growing up in that culture and practicing and playing with TOUR pros, you pick up things -- how they practice, how they look at a golf course. Before I got to a TOUR event I knew how a TOUR pro played. So I wasn't in shock by how they talked or how they acted.”
Cantlay, too, looks the part.
In his limited action on TOUR last year, Cantlay’s scoring average was an impressive 69.26, which would have ranked third on TOUR. He averaged better than 290 yards off the tee and would have ranked in the top 35 in greens in regulation.
”[The decision] was a combination of being comfortable with being a professional and taking it to the next level,” said Cantlay, who added the impending q-school and schedule changes had little to do with his decision.
Cantlay will play the next three weeks, including this one, on sponsor exemptions, and he has up to seven to try to earn a TOUR card. There are a few different ways Cantlay could do that.
If Cantlay earns $411,943 -- the same as No. 150 from last year’s money list -- he would be eligible for special temporary membership and unlimited sponsor exemptions the remainder of this year.
He could also go the route of Bud Cauley, who earned enough in his limited starts last year to finish in the top 125 on the money list. Should Cantlay’s earnings rank between No. 126 and 150 on the money list, he would be exempt into the final stage of q-school, where he could also earn a card in what will be the final year of the current format.
Since 1980, the only players to go from college directly to the TOUR without a stop at q-school were Gary Hallberg, Phil Mickelson, Justin Leonard, Tiger Woods, Ryan Moore and Cauley.
Or he could just win, which would guarantee him a TOUR card for two years and certainly isn’t unrealistic given Cantlay’s pedigree.
“I think I owe a lot to those guys [at Virginia Country Club] for bringing me up in that culture,” Cantlay said.
Now he can pay them back, too.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO -- UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay says he hasn't made a decision on whether to turn pro.
"I still have a lot to talk over with my family and everything," Cantlay told reporters on Sunday after shooting a final-round 72 at The Olympic Club and finishing the U.S. Open at 11 over.
A year ago at Congressional, Cantley earned low amateur honors. He then went to the Travelers Championship and set the golf world on its ear with a 60 in the second round. Cantlay went on to tie for 24th, one of four top-25 finishes in five PGA TOUR starts in 2011.
Cantlay also tied for 47th earlier this year at the Masters Tournament. In seven TOUR starts over the last two seasons, he has one top-10 and four top-25 finishes.
The decision to turn pro, Cantlay said, is a personal one. "For me it's got to feel right," he explained. "And whenever it feels like it's the right time, then it will be."
Cantlay will be playing at TPC Hartford again next week. He says
he's not worried about the transition, should he decide to turn pro
before graduating from UCLA.
"I don't feel pressure, not really," Cantlay said. "The golf is going to be the same. I don't feel pressure about turning pro,it's just part of life. It's just going into the next stage, whenever that happens."