On Sunday, Patrick Cantlay was questioned about his future. After finishing the U.S. Open as low amateur, word had spread he was on the verge of joining the pay for play ranks. “I haven't made a decision yet. I still have a lot to talk over with my family and everything,” he insisted Sunday evening. On Tuesday, the world's top-ranked amateur decided to forgo his junior year at UCLA and start earning a paycheck. “I feel like its time for me to play as a pro. I think it's best for my golf game, and when I talked over with my mom and my dad and Jamie Mulligan (swing coach), that's just what we thought would be best for me and my game right now,” he declared. “We thought
Travelers, since I played well here last year and it's after the U. S. Open it was the right time and that's kind of why I'm doing it now, and just felt right.”
He was runner up in the U.S. Amateur last year and therefore is giving up his exemption into the British Open next month. However, his early track record would suggest he is ready for the big time. Last year, he competed in five PGA TOUR events and finished in the top 25 in four of them. One included a tie for ninth place at the RBC Canadian Open. Last year he made a name for himself by shooting 60 at the Travelers. It stands as the lowest score ever by an amateur on TOUR. “I think I have a lot more experience and I know my own game and limitations even better than I did last year. I've played five or six TOUR events, I think, and any time you can play in a TOUR event, especially the three majors that I've played, you learn a lot about your game and what it takes. I feel comfortable playing in that type of environment,” he said. Last year’s 60 also played a role in his mind. “I realized for the first time that if I played really well, I could compete on any stage, and that was big just for my own, I guess, personal confidence knowing that my best is good enough to be the best,” he added. “Right now I'm scheduled to play next week and the week after. And then I will look for some more sponsors' exemptions.”
Meanwhile, Cantlay has an apparel deal with the Travis Mathew, which also boasts Bubba Watson on its team. The kid works fast, wouldn’t you say, considering he hadn’t made a decision on Sunday night! Cantlay will begin representing the brand this week. “It is not every day that a company gets the opportunity to work with such a bright and talented young man. The fact that Patrick grew up in our backyard, was coached and mentored by Jamie Mulligan, a very close friend to the Travis Mathew Family, and was raised at Virginia Country Club alongside two of our original team members John Mallinger and Peter Tomasulo, is just icing on the cake,” said Travis Mathew President Travis Brasher. “We would like to thank Patrick for choosing us as his apparel sponsor and we look forward to watching him grow on and off the golf course.”
Its been reported and substantiated by his agent, Mark Steinberg (also Tiger’s) that Cantlay has been given an exemption into AT&T National (also Tiger’s), Greenbrier Classic, RBC Canadian Open and Frys.Com Open to go along with this week’s event.