Establishment (Woods) vs. Youth (Cantlay)

October 04, 2011

FRYS.COM OPEN: Rankings | Inside the field | Inside the course | Tee times

One of the themes for the 2011 PGA TOUR season is the competition involving the younger players and the established ones. How will the veteran players -- those with significant TOUR experience and long-standing championship pedigree -- fare against the hungry up-and-comers who are looking to nudge their way into the TOUR's elite?

Each week, PGATOUR.COM will select two players and analyze their chances heading into the tournament. We'll then track which player has the better score for his team, and keep a running team tally throughout the year.

For the Open, we've selected UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay and former world No. 1 Tiger Woods. The two will tee off Thursday at 3:10 p.m. ET (12:10 p.m. local) off hole No. 1.

Woods is making a rare appearance in the Fall Series after missing the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup for the first time in his career. He missed the cut in his last start on TOUR at the PGA Championship and will be looking for his first win since the 2009 BMW Championship.

AGE: 35
YEARS ON TOUR: Woods is winding up his 15th season on the PGA TOUR. He has 71 victories, including 14 majors -- second only to Jack Nicklaus.
OVERVIEW: oods, who has dropped out of the top 50 in the world for the first time since his rookie year in 1996, enters the Open with a lot of question marks. How will his new swing, crafted under the guidance of Sean Foley, hold up? Will he silence those who criticized his selection to the U.S. Presidents Cup team with a big finish at CordeValle Golf Club this week? (Woods added the Open to help make sure he is in top competitive form for the biennial matches at Royal Melbourne in November.) Can he break a PGA TOUR victory drought that dates back to 2009? Woods has played sparingly this year due to nagging injuries to his left knee and Achilles tendon that prompted him to withdraw from THE PLAYERS Championship in May. He didn't play again until August at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational where he tied for 37th. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship and has spent the last eight weeks working on his game.
HISTORY IN THIS EVENT: Woods has never played at CordeValle Golf club. The native Californian should be comfortable with the conditions he'll find there, though -- and Woods has proven enormously adaptable during his career.
OUTLOOK THIS WEEK: Woods is always one to rise to the occasion and he certainly has challenged himself this week. He said that his game has progressed a lot over the last two months and he's anxious to put it under the competitive pressure he'll face this week.

AGE: 19
YEARS ON TOUR: Cantlay is a UCLA sophomore who bucked family tradition -- both his parents at Southern Cal grads. He played in 11 tournaments as a freshman and won four times, posting a scoring average of 70.5.
OVERVIEW: Cantlay's freshman year at UCLA was impressive as he led the team in top-10 finishes with nine, rounds under par (20) and rounds under 70 (17). He won the Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation's top collegian as well as the Phil Mickelson Award as the top freshman. Not surprisingly, he was a concensus first-team All-American. Cantlay played in four PGA TOUR events this summer and finished 24th or better in each one. He tied for 21st and was the low amateur at the U.S. Open. Cantlay also created considerable excitement the following week at the Travelers Championship where he shot 60 in the second round. His best finish on TOUR came at the RBC Canadian Open where he shot 68-69 on the weekend and tied for ninth. Cantlay also was the runner-up at the U.S. Amateur and played in hthe Walker Cup, the first UCLA player since Corey Pavin in 1982 to make the team.
HISTORY IN THIS EVENT: Cantlay has never played in the Open but he does know CordeValle Golf Club. He won last year's Gifford Collegiate there, shooting 6 under on rounds of 67-69-71.
OUTLOOK THIS WEEK: Cantlay has certainly showed poise beyond his years in the four previous PGA TOUR events he's played. Not to mention, he should have confidence after winning a tournament at CordeValle. How well he handles the attention that comes with being paired with Woods, though, will be key.
Here are the results of the previous matchups this year
    Score/Finish Tournament   Score/Finish  
Steve Stricker 20 under (T-4th) Hyundai TOC Dustin Johnson 14 under (T-9th)  
Ernie Els 4 under (T-42nd) Sony Open Jason Day 8 under (T-20th)
Stewart Cink 5 under (MC) Bob Hope Classic Bubba Watson 7 under (MC)
Davis Love III 5 over (MC) Farmers Insurance Open Rickie Fowler 5 under (T20)
Angel Cabrera 7 under (T-49th) Waste Management Phoenix Jhonattan Vegas 2 under (MC)  
  Padraig Harrington 2 over (T63) AT&T Pebble Beach National Dustin Johnson Even (T55)
Jim Furyk 1 under (T35) Northern Trust Open Louis Oosthuizen 3 over (T62)  
  Vijay Singh 9 over (MC) The Honda Classic Anthony Kim 7 over (MC)
Luke Donald 11 under (T6) WGC-Cadillac Championship Jhonattan Vegas 2 under (T31)  
Sergio Garcia 7 under (T15) Transitions Championship Matteo Manassero 6 under (T20)  
Phil Mickelson 1 under (T24) Arnold Palmer Invitational Graeme McDowell 9 over (MC)  
  Fred Couples Even (T60) Shell Houston Open Gary Woodland 10 under (T13)
Tiger Woods 10 under (T4) The Masters Martin Kaymer 6 over (MC)  
Justin Leonard 2 under (T30) Valero Texas Open Anthony Kim 7 over (MC)  
  Jim Furyk 5 under (T21) The Heritage Jason Day 7 under (T9)
David Toms 7 under (T18) Zurich Classic of New Orleans Brandt Snedeker 2 over (MC)  
Phil Mickelson 10 under (T9) Wells Fargo Championship Bubba Watson 3 under (T48)  
  Tiger Woods Withdrew THE PLAYERS Championship Charl Schwartzel 6 under (T26)
Paul Goydos 5 under (T10) Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Jason Day 3 under (T31)  
  Vijay Singh 5 over (T27) HP Byron Nelson Championship Nick Watney 1 over (T8)
  Jim Furyk 8 over (MC) the Memorial Tournament Bubba Watson 1 under (T42)
  David Toms 5 over (MC) FedEx St. Jude Classic Camilo Villegas 8 under (3)
  Ernie Els 6 over (MC) U.S. Open Graeme McDowell 2 under (T14)
  Padraig Harrington 4 under (T63) Travelers Championship Aaron Baddeley 11 under (T24)
K.J. Choi 11 under (2nd) AT&T National Adam Scott 9 under (T3)  
Stewart Cink 3 under (MC) John Deere Classic Louis Oosthuizen 3 under (MC)  
Tom Watson 6 over (T22) British Open Bubba Watson 9 over (T30)  
  Mike Weir (WD) RBC Canadian Open Matt McQuillan 5 over (T31)
  Davis Love III 2 over (MC) The Greenbrier Classic Jeff Overton Even (T49)
Steve Stricker 7 under (14) WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Nick Watney 2 under (T23)  
  Tiger Woods 10 over (MC) PGA Championship Dustin Johnson 7 over (MC)
Davis Love III 11 under (T12) Wyndham Championship Bill Haas 2 under (MC)  
Phil Mickelson 8 under (T43) The Barclays Keegan Bradley 1 over (MC)  
Ernie Els 8 under (T16) Deutsche Bank Championship William McGirt 3 under (T42)  
Jim Furyk Even (T22) BMW Championship Rickie Fowler 4 over (48th)  
Vijay Singh Even (T16) TOUR Championship Webb Simpson 2 over (22ndth)  
  Bob Estes 11 under (T40) JT Shriners Hospitals Martin Laird 11 under (T40)

Cantlay, one of the game's most accomplished amateurs, will be making his fifth PGA TOUR start of the summer at the Open. He has finished 24th or better in the other four, including one top 10 at the Travelers Championship. The 60 he shot in the first round at TPC River Highlands remains the low round on TOUR in 2011.