Category: Patrick Cantlay


June 20, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Patrick Cantlay turns pro, Tiger Woods commits to Bridgestone

Posted at 1:06 PM by Mark Dee

Patrick Cantlay, formerly the No. 1 amateur golfer in the world, turned professional Tuesday at a press conference prior to the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn.

Though the 20-year-old, who finished tied for 41st last week at the U.S. Open, said he hadn’t made a decision as of Sunday, well…no one really believed him. After all, Cantlay did shoot 60 in a round at River Highlands as an amateur last year. And with two years of seasoning at UCLA, Cantlay already gives a pretty typical pro interview. Here’s his announcement:

Well, I had a really good time at UCLA for my two years, and I learned a lot and I developed a lot, and I've played really well at this event last year, and I feel like it's time for me to play as a pro. I think it's best for my golf game, and that's just what my when I talked over with my mom and my dad and [coach] Jamie Mulligan, that's just what we thought would be best for me and my game right now. So 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.

As for the timing:

For me it was a combination of being comfortable with being a professional and taking it to the next level and timing. I think this timing makes sense for me, being able to start somewhere where I'm comfortable and I have good memories. And I feel ready and comfortable with being a pro and trying to be as good as I can be.

Cantlay will receive exemptions for the next three tour stops. He’ll have to finish in the top 125 on the money list to dodge Q-school, though –- a feat only accomplished by a handful of golfers, including Bud Cauley last year, who went straight from Alabama to the tour.

Cantlay could easily be the next to make that jump. In his eight previous tour starts, he made seven cuts -– including four top 25s, and a T9 at last year’s Canadian Open. Cantlay’s scoring average last year was a strong 69.75, which would have ranked the 11th lowest on the PGA Tour.

He signed with Tiger Woods’s agent Mark Steinberg, and already has a clothing sponsor for this week.

We’ll see how Cantlay’s pro career starts Thursday morning, when he’ll tee off in an intriguing trio that includes 20-year-old Ryo Ishikawa and 23-year-old John Peterson, fresh off his T4 finish at the U.S. Open.

Find Cantlay's entire interview at ASAPSports.com

Tiger to play Bridgestone
Tiger Woods gave an unusually early commitment Tuesday to play in August’s Bridgestone Invitational. Though he usually plays in World Golf Championship events, he typically lets organizers sweat a little first, according to Tim Rogers of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Players are not required by the PGA Tour to enter an event until the preceding Friday, which in the case of the Bridgestone, would be July 27. Woods' early commitment gives the tournament extra time to sell tickets.
"This is the earliest Tiger has entered since I've been here," said executive director Don Padgett III, who will oversee the event for the sixth year. "Last year he waited until the Thursday or Friday before, which is his right. But, having him commit early is a plus."

Of course, there’s little reason not to play in a WGC event: the purse is $8.5 million, and there isn’t a cut. Sign me up. With the Bridgestone the first week in August and the PGA Championship the second, we'll have a serious chunk of golf to pull us through the dog days.

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June 18, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Blogger identifies man who crashed U.S. Open trophy presentation

Posted at 3:21 PM by Mark Dee

The mystery of the U.S. Open trophy-presentation crasher, who charged onto the 18th green at Olympic Club in a Union Jack hat and made a bird noise before being roughly escorted off by the USGA's Mike Davis, has been solved.

According to Awful Announcing's Matt Yoder, the rooster-ish gent is a 40-year-old man from the U.K. who goes by "Jungle Bird." Writes Yoder:

Jungle Bird's Facebook page describes himself as a "fictional character" and "activist dedicated to raising awareness of deforestation :-)." Perhaps yesterday's episode will push him above 100 likes on Facebook.

Yes, we know this guy did it for attention. And yes, we know Truth & Rumors is providing that attention. But let's turn to the tape anyway:

Just to hit some highlights:

- The entrance: Out of focus, in your face.

- The distant, owlish look  and posture that accompany the call. This guy's no amateur. Sorry, Beau.

- Bob Costas's nasal flare.

- Webb Simpson's "I just won the U.S. Open" dismissal of the British bird.

- And then we have Davis, who sets up the courses for the U.S. Open. All indications are that he takes that task very seriously. To him, the presentation of the trophy is borderline sacrament. So seeing him defend his hallowed turf like Office Linebacker Terry Tate? Well, that's just fine with us.

A New Cigar Guy?
Not all the characters at Olympic were quite so...avian.

It’s been a lean, stogie-free couple of years since the 2010 Ryder Cup, when Cigar Guy became an Internet sensation. According to Deadspin, he may have a new disciple out there. Note the guy in the old-school outfit hanging out behind Jim Furyk on Sunday at the U.S. Open:

  Cigar man

 

Of course, given what we saw in the waning hours of the Open, this guy might be the most level-headed, normal dude in the city of San Francisco.

Cantlay to go pro?
Soon after Patrick Cantlay wrapped up his T42 at the U.S. Open Sunday, speculation sparked around the No. 1 ranked amateur. The Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard reported:

According to multiple sources familiar with the situation, amateur Patrick Cantlay plans to turn professional after this week's U.S. Open, although the 20-year-old said on Sunday at The Olympic Club that he has not made a decision…

…Cantlay, 20, who recently completed his sophomore season at UCLA and was runner-up at last year's U.S. Amateur, is playing next week's Travelers Championship and is scheduled to hold a news conference on Tuesday afternoon at TPC River Highlands.

Despite Cantlay's denial, sources say he plans to sign with Tiger Woods' manager Mark Steinberg with Excel Sports Management. GolfChannel.com asked Steinberg about his relationship with Cantlay Sunday at Olympic and he declined to comment.

The timing makes a lot of sense for Cantlay, who shot a 60 in Hartford last year. Clearly, the course agrees with him. As for signing with Steinberg, I'll offer this: You can't go wrong following Tiger Woods along the narrow fairway of turning golf into business. That said, who would wear a "PC" logo?

Obama hits 100 (rounds)
Barack Obama spent Father's day with loved ones: nine of his favorite Nike VR Full Cavity irons, a few choice Sasquatch fairway woods, and his pride and joy, a Taylor Made R11 driver. Obama logged the 100th round of his term on Sunday, according to Good Morning America:

President Barack Obama's love of golf hit a milestone today as he marked his 100th time on the links. His Father's Day achievement was reached at the Beverly Country Club in his hometown, the windy city…

…Obama was in Chicago this weekend to attend the wedding Saturday of longtime friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett's daughter. As of press time it is unknown if his family has further Father's Day plans, but first lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to deliver a commencement address at Oregon State University this afternoon.

Tonight the president embarks directly for Los Cabos, Mexico, from this city for a G20 summit.

I hope he brings his sticks. Summits are held at resorts for a reason, and that reason is to challenge Putin to a 5-ruble Nassau.

Obama has come under attack from Republican rivals for his golfing habit, but, according to the article, he's nowhere close to the White House's most prolific player. Woodrow Wilson reportedly logged 1,200 rounds across his two terms -- that's roughly a round every 2.5 days.

Rumor has it the secret service painted golf balls black so Wilson could practice on the White house lawn in the winter.

Yabba-Dabba-Don’t
Golf fans watching the final group Sunday may remember this clip of Graeme McDowell's tee shot into the par-three 15th hole (15 seconds in):

Yes, the fan said, “Yabba-Dabba-Do.” And, yes, it was awesome. Once.  Just like “Get in the Hole!” and “You Da Man!” and “Mashed Potatoes!”, this one will get old fast.

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August 26, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Gov't official requests free Masters tickets (request denied)

Posted at 10:06 AM by Alan Bastable

Amazing how far some people will go to secure Masters tickets. Consider the tale of Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, who, using official Public Service Commission letterhead, “went straight to the Augusta National Golf Club to request two complimentary practice round tickets to this year's Masters, long after tickets had been distributed to one of the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments through a lottery system.” Kristi Swartz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the details:

After more than a week passed without a response, Echols informed the club that he planned to do some regulating.

Just what the Masters needs—more regulating.

Echols has since said that he should not have asked for the tickets because of the “appearance of impropriety.” Experts say Echols' letters broke no laws but agree there's a concern about appearances.

“It’s clear that he’s trying to use the office as if there’s some royal entitlement to complimentary tickets,” said Emmet Bondurant, an Atlanta lawyer whose specialties include ethics cases.

Wait, it gets better…

In [the] letter, Echols wanted access to the grounds of Augusta National during the early rounds of the tournament so he could, with an armed Department of Public Safety official, check limo drivers to see whether they were properly licensed with the state.

Augusta National denied Echols access, and he later called off the operation after pressure from other commissioners.

“I don’t know that there has been another public service commissioner to be so aggressive in the transportation sector with enforcement as I was trying to be, and my fellow commissioners were uncomfortable with me pursuing rogue companies so aggressively,” Echols said. “... I take my position as transportation chair of the Public Service Commission very seriously and want to serve these groups of people in the best way that I possibly can.”

People, Mr. Commissioner? They’re patrons.

Superstar amateur plays “craziest” match of his career

A pair of Walker Cuppers—Patrick Cantlay and Russell Henley—squared off in the second round of the U.S. Amateur at Erin Hills in Wisconsin Thursday, and the results were explosive. Vincent Butler of The Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch paints the scene:

Henley birdied No. 16 and was 2-up going into the final two holes. Cantlay chipped in a shot for a birdie on the 17th hole. He putted another one in on No.18 to send the match into sudden death. And the fun was just getting started.

Both players eagled No. 1, which was the first hole of sudden death. “We both hit shots in the fairway,” Cantlay said. “We both hit shots pin high right on the putting green. I was 35 feet, and he was about 25 feet.”

Cantlay rammed in his shot and thought that might be enough to wrap up the match. But Henley followed suit and they went to the second hole. “We didn’t talk too much during the match,” Cantlay said. “But we both said ‘good putt’ to each other.” Both players got pars on the second hole, but Cantlay won with a par on the third hole.

“I will remember this match for sure,” Cantlay said. “It was the craziest match I have ever been a part of and if you told me all that stuff would have happened the way it did, I wouldn’t have believed you.”

Your 2017 Masters champion? Either of these guys is a good pick. 

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August 23, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Golf team suspended for nude photo

Posted at 1:24 PM by Mike Walker

The Bethany College golf team is in trouble because of an unofficial - and undressed - team photo. (We'll let you supply the double entendres.) Officials at the Kansas college suspended the team for three tournaments over the photo of naked players, which was posted on Facebook, according to The Wichita Eagle.

All 15 members of the team at the small, Lutheran school in Lindsborg posed naked for an unofficial team picture, with strategically placed golf clubs to cover their genitals.

Athletic director and golf coach Jon Daniels suspended the team for three tournaments - two that would have occurred on the same day - because of the picture...

Team captain Jack Hiscock told KAKE News that the team would appeal the suspension to school president .

And yes, it appears that is the player's real name.

Big names - Uihlein, Cantlay - off to good start at U.S. Amateur
The U.S. Amateur has some extra star power this year in Oklahoma State's Peter Uihlein, the defending champion, and UCLA's Patrick Cantlay, who followed his T21 finish at the U.S. Open with a second-round 60 at the Travelers Championship. According to Gary D'Amato of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, both Uihlein and Cantlay got off to a good start at the U.S. Amateur on Monday at Wisconsin's Erin Hills.

Uihlein's short-term goal is the same as the goal of the other 311 players in the field: Get through qualifying and earn one of 64 spots in match play.

He was in good shape after opening with a 4-under-par 68 at Erin Hills Golf Course on Monday.

"It was a good day," Uihlein said. "I felt very free, very relaxed out there. I made a couple really greasy pars, which I probably never should have, but then I missed a couple easy birdie putts.

"So, all in all, it was kind of what I felt like I should have shot."

Cantlay is also in decent position, D'Amato reports.

Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos, Calif., the top-ranked amateur in the world, wasn't among the leaders but was in good shape after shooting a 1-under 71 at Erin Hills.

Cantlay is the first amateur in history to finish among the top 25 in his first four starts on the PGA Tour. He shot a 60, the lowest score ever by an amateur on Tour, en route to a tie for ninth at the Travelers Championship.

Note: Cantlay actually tied for 24th at the Travelers.

Daly, Rocco to play Nationwide event in Pittsburgh
If Tiger Woods is serious about adding a pre-Presidents Cup event to his schedule, he should check out the Nationwide Tour's Mylan Classic in suburban Pittsburgh on Sept. 1-4. His old pals John Daly and Rocco Mediate will be there, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

 

Now, in a career that has included two major championships but also any number of personal missteps, Daly will make a return appearance to the region when he plays in the Nationwide Tour's Mylan Classic Sept. 1-4 at Southpointe Golf Club, Canonsburg.

Daly, who won the 1991 PGA Championship and the '95 British Open, will compete in the 72-hole event. He will be joined by Greensburg native Rocco Mediate, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour who played in the inaugural Mylan Classic a year ago.

"I love Pittsburgh," Daly said Monday from Knoxville, Tenn., where he is playing in a Nationwide Tour event this week. "Joe and Maggie [Hardy] have always been like family to me. I know I'm not represented by them anymore, but I still have 84 Lumber customers who come out and watch me play. So I feel like an adopted cousin back there."

Stray Shots: Some things we saw while trying to fit our new long putter into the trunk...

The New York Times' Lens Blog has a photo gallery of golf-course groundskeepers. Sadly, Carl Spackler is not involved. (Via The New York Times)

Tennis player Rafa Nadal considered a career in golf after a 2005 injury. He probably figured, "Hey, if Sergio can do it..." (Via The Guardian)

U.S. Amateur players to Erin Hills course: 7,700 yards, is that all you've got? (Via Golfweek

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From original tweeter Stewart Cink...

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August 01, 2011

Patrick Cantlay, Peter Uihlein, Russell Henley, Harris English named to 2011 Walker Cup team

Posted at 1:40 PM by Golf.com

Several American amateurs have grabbed headlines this summer for their stellar play in professional tournaments. Four of the most decorated ams have been selected to represent the United States at the 2011 Walker Cup, which will be played Sept. 10-11 at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Patrick Cantlay, Russell Henley, Harris English and Peter Uihlein were chosen by the USGA's selection committee. The remaining six spots on the U.S. squad will be announced later this summer. The American players will face a team of 10 amateurs from Great Britain and Ireland in a Ryder Cup-style competition of eight alternate-shot matches and 18 singles matches.

Cantlay was the low amateur at the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, where he tied for 21st place. He also tied for ninth at the RBC Canadian Open in July. The 19-year-old is coming off a standout freshman year at UCLA, where he won three tournaments and was named Pac-10 Golfer of the Year and first-team All-American, and received the Jack Nicklaus Award, which is given to the Division I player of the year.

Henley, 22, became the second amateur in history to win a Nationwide Tour event when he won the Stadion Classic at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., in May. He qualified for the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, where he made the cut and finished tied for 42nd. He also won seven collegiate events in his career, and was named Southeastern Conference Golfer of the Year in 2010.

English, 22, also won on the Nationwide Tour this year, taking the Children's Hospital Invitational in July. He was Henley's teammate at Georgia, where he won four events in his collegiate career and was a three-time All-American.

Uihlein, 21, is one of the most decorated amateur golfers in the U.S., highlighted by his victory at the 2010 U.S. Amateur. He also received the 2011 Ben Hogan Award, which is given to the top men's college golfer in any division for his performance in all collegiate and amateur competitions during a 12-month period. He also played in the 2009 Walker Cup, where he had a 4-0-0 record.

The U.S. is the defending champion and has won the last three Walker Cup matches.

June 29, 2011

Amateur Patrick Cantlay continues whirlwind month

Posted at 1:18 PM by Scott Miller

Cantlay NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- Patrick Cantlay's month of June has included placing second in the NCAA individual national championship, accepting the Jack Nicklaus award as national player of the year, being low amateur at the U.S. Open and leading the Travelers Championship after a second-round 60  -- the lowest score by an amateur in PGA Tour history.

And now, Cantlay, a UCLA sophomore-to-be, is finally starting to get noticed. On Monday at the AT&T National, a fan asked him to autograph a photo, a first for the baby-faced 19-year-old.

"That was a little shocking," Cantlay said in his press conference Tuesday morning.

But his new-found notoriety and his rising reputation in the sport won't make Cantlay change his tune about his future. The Los Alamitos, Calif., native has maintained that he plans to return to UCLA for the fall semester, even after missing out on nearly $150,000 in prize money because of his amateur status.

School doesn't start until Sept. 22, which leaves Cantlay plenty of time to continue his whirlwind summer vacation. He hasn't been home since the NCAA national championship began in late May. Next week he'll play in the Southern California Amateur. From there, Cantlay's schedule includes the Western Amateur outside Chicago, the U.S. Amateur outside Milwaukee  and "hopefully," Cantlay says, the Walker Cup -- amateur golf's version of the Ryder Cup -- in Scotland.

With the way Cantlay has been playing lately, it's hard to imagine any scenario where he'd be passed over for the U.S. Walker Cup team.

"I'm not surprised with the way I [have] played, but it just reaffirmed my belief that I think I can play out here eventually," he said.

(Photo: Barbara Johnston/AP)





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