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Top amateur Cantlay turns pro, joins Tiger’s camp

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On Tuesday of this week the opening line of the Wikipedia entry for Patrick Cantlay read: “Patrick Cantlay (born March 17, 1992) is an American amateur golfer who is the number one golfer in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.”

Wednesday it read, “Patrick Cantlay … is an American professional golfer who was the number one golfer in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.”

What a difference a day makes.

With a simple announcement and the signing of representation documents with Tiger Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg, Cantlay went from the pinnacle of the amateur scene to one of the many young hopefuls on Tour.

“I feel like it’s time for me to play as a pro,” Cantlay said during a news conference at the Traveler’s Championship. “I think it’s best for my golf game, and that’s just what my — when I talked it over with my mom and my dad and (swing coach) Jamie Mulligan, that’s just what we thought would be best for me and my game right now.”

Cantlay has been the best amateur player in the world for some time. His resume at that level is impressive, including runner-up finishes in the Western Open and the U.S. Amateur Championship. Cantlay was also the California State High School Championship, an honor previously held by Rickie Fowler. He was was the PAC-10 Player of the Year in his freshman year at UCLA, and won the Ben Hogan Award for top collegiate golfer in the country and the Mark McCormack Medal in 2011 as the top ranked amateur in the world. The latter included an invitation to the 2012 U.S. Open, where he finished tied for 41st.

The decision to turn professional was a move that came as no surprise to the golf world, as Cantlay had displayed talents ranging from the precocious (low amateur and a T-47 finish at this year’s Masters) to the prodigious — he fired a 60 at last year’s Travelers Championship, the lowest round ever recorded by an amateur in a PGA Tour event). Cantlay will make his pro debut this week at the 2012 Travelers Championship. In addition to his proven abilities, Cantlay’s decision was likely influenced by the major changes to the PGA Tour’s qualifying school and Nationwide Tour that take effect next year.

Cantlay, who has carded four top-25 finishes in eight career Tour starts clearly has the game to win enough money to make him comfortable for the rest of his life. The question is whether he has the mental fortitude to withstand the grind of the every day Tour as well as the fireworks of the four majors and various international Cup events. By signing with Steinberg, a key player in Team Tiger, Cantlay has, fairly or unfairly, set the expectations just a little higher. Whenever you cast your lot with a living legend, just earning a living probably won’t be enough.

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum.

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Williams has a reputation as a savvy broadcaster, and as an incisive interviewer and writer. An avid golfer himself, Williams has covered the game of golf and the golf lifestyle including courses, restaurants, travel and sports marketing for publications all over the world. He is currently working with a wide range of outlets in traditional and electronic media, and has produced and hosted “Sticks and Stones” on the Fox Radio network, a critically acclaimed show that combined coverage of the golf world with interviews of the Washington power elite. His work on Newschannel8’s “Capital Golf Weekly” and “SportsTalk” have established him as one of the area’s most trusted sources for golf reporting. Williams has also made numerous radio appearances on “The John Thompson Show,” and a host of other local productions. He is a sought-after speaker and panel moderator, he has recently launched a new partnership with The O Team to create original golf-themed programming and events. Williams is a member of the United States Golf Association and the Golf Writers Association of America.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic

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GolfWRX was of course on-site this week for our hometown event, the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.

The photos have begun to flow in, and as always, we have WITBs, general galleries, and some cool special galleries — including a look at Jason Dufner’s 3D-printed putter. Be sure to check back throughout the week as we add more photos.

Check out links to all our photos below and see what GolfWRXers are saying in the official discussion thread.

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying and join the discussion in the forums.

 

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Equipment

Spotted: Phil Mickelson testing Callaway’s mini driver

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There is some serious equipment testing going on at Pinehurst’s legendary No. 2 course before the 2024 U.S. Open starts! We spotted renowned club tinkerer Phil Mickelson on the range with a new setup. He was testing out the new Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver with a new Mitsubishi Diamana BB (Blue Board) shaft.

Phil has long been a mini driver/2-wood/strong 3-wood guy, as he was the inspiration for the Callaway “Phranken Wood” about 10 years ago. For many pros, adding a strong 3-wood or mini driver allows them to turn it over easier and add a more consistent draw to their bag off the tee without losing too much distance.

Mitsubishi’s Diamana BB is the newest mid-launch shaft in the Diamana line. The “BB” on the shaft of course references the iconic Blue Board shafts from 20 years ago and this model will have a similar smooth feel.

 

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 U.S. Open

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GolfWRX is live this week from the third major of the season: the U.S. Open at historic Pinehurst No. 2.

Qualifier WITBs are the stars the the show so far — along with in-hand looks at what Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau are playing.

Check back throughout the week as we continue to add more galleries.  

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying about the photos from the U.S. Open in the forums. 

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