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Amateur Cantlay leads Tiger at Frys

Patrick Cantlay
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SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Patrick Cantlay has finished inside the top 25 in four PGA Tour starts dating back to the U.S. Open. After his 2-under 69 in Round 1 of the Open, the UCLA product may be on his way to extending that streak.

'It was fun. I had a good time out there and really enjoyed myself,' he said.

Cantlay is two back of the lead and beat former No. 1 Tiger Woods by four shots. The amateur standout does not take particular joy from the latter, however.

'It's the first round of a tournament, so [beating Woods] doesn't mean anything,' he said.

Asked to assess Woods' round, Cantlay gave a very Woods-like answer.

'He played how he played,' the amateur said. He added, 'I didn't have any expectations for what he was going to do or what anybody else was going to do except for myself.'

Woods was more effusive in his evaluation of Cantlay's performance.

'Very steady,' Woods said. 'He hits the ball reasonably long, very steady and, as we've seen this entire summer, the kid can putt. He got to the finals of the Western and U.S. [Amateur], and obviously he did really well shooting 60 up at Hartford. You don't shoot 60 without putting well.'

Some of Cantlay's advantage, however, might come from local knowledge. He won a collegiate event hosted by UCLA at CordeValle last year. That tournament was played in contrasting conditions to what he faced Thursday.

'Soggier, for sure, and less windy,' Cantlay said, comparing the two events here. 'And then we got some rain, which we didn't get last year in the college event. So tougher.'