June 26 2011
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- The biggest thing Patrick Cantlay learned in his first regular PGA TOUR event? That he can compete.
That’s what the 19-year-old amateur took away from the Travelers Championship, where he finished at 11 under that was highlighted by a course-record 60 in the second round.
“I just learned what it's like to have a week on the PGA TOUR, make the cut and compete with all the guys,” Cantlay said after a final-round 70.
The last two rounds certainly didn’t go as well as the first two did for Cantlay, who will return for his sophomore year at UCLA this fall. After opening 67-60 to hold the lead at the halfway mark, Cantlay closed 72-70.
Still, it was an impressive week for a player who was barely on the radar for the Walker Cup team at the start of his freshman year. The last four weeks have certainly changed that, however. After reaching the finals of the NCAA Championship and receiving the Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation’s top collegiate player, Cantlay finished as the low amateur at the U.S. Open, where he tied for 21st.
“Just didn't go as planned,” Cantlay said of his final two rounds at TPC River Highlands. “I was actually surprised I was very comfortable out there and very composed and proud of myself for hanging in there.”
Cantlay’s summer isn’t over just yet, though. He received a sponsor exemption into next week’s AT&T National in Philadelphia.
“They've taken a toll,” said Cantlay, who will be playing for his fifth straight week next week in Philadelphia. “This is the most weeks I've ever been in a row without being home my whole life.”
So much for summer vacation.