CROMWELL, Conn. – As expected, Patrick Cantlay turned professional on Tuesday in advance of playing the Travelers Championship this week. GolfChannel.com first reported the news Sunday from the U.S. Open.
“I had a really good time at UCLA for my two years,” this year’s Ben Hogan Award winner said. “I learned a lot and I developed a lot, and I’ve played really well this 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.”
The 20-year-old signed with agent Mark Steinberg at Excel Sports Management, which also represents Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar.
Cantlay enjoyed one of the more decorated amateur careers in recent memory. He was last year’s Jack Nicklaus Award winner, low amateur at both the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 Masters, posted a 10-under 60 at the Travelers Championship last year, and starred for the United States Walker Cup team.
He explained the reasoning behind his decision to turn pro by saying, “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.”
As for his upcoming schedule, Cantlay maintained that next week’s AT&T National is the only appearance that is imminent.
He did, however, contend that the PGA Tour’s decision to revamp how players gain membership through Q-School was not a factor in his decision.
“If you’re good enough to be a pro,” he said, “you’re going to be able to be a pro pretty quick and it’ll be apparent. So I think Q-School still allows really good players to get out there fast.”