Click here to watch Cantlay's press conference
October 5, 2011 - The PGA Tour's "Fall Series" continues this week with the Frys.com Open at CordeValle GC in San Martin, Ca. 2011 SCGA Amateur Champion Patrick Cantlay will make his fifth PGA Tour start in the event, after receiving a sponsor exemption back in August.
The media-circus that surrounded Cantlay all summer, with his successful run at the U.S. Open and other PGA Tour events, will only continue this week as the 19-year-old has been paired with Tiger Woods for the first two days of the tournament, which begins Thursday. The two will tee off for Round 1 with Louis Oosthuizen at 12:10 p.m.
“I’m not going to even worry about it because I can only control what I’m going to do, no matter who I’m playing with. So to me it’s really not a big deal,” Cantlay said, when asked about playing with Woods. “I’m just going to stick to my game plan, and nothing I do is going to change because of who I’m playing with.”
Cantlay is looking to extend his streak of top-25 finishes in PGA Tour events to five this year.
Tiger Woods, who himself won the SCGA Amateur Championship back in 1994, is making his first start since missing the cut in the PGA Championship in August. The event is also his first career appearance in a Fall Series event and first since he hired Joe LaCava as his caddie. Woods won the last of his 71 PGA Tour titles in September 2009.
Though having less experience, Cantlay does come into the tournament with previous success at CordeValle, having won a collegiate event there last year.
“We played a college event out here last year. UCLA hosted it. And I played well. I was fortunate enough to win,” he said, before then stating the obvious. “I really like the golf course. I think it suits my game and it’s a really good place.”
Cantlay and Woods first met Tuesday, when the two played together in an outing for title sponsor Fry’s Electronics, and Cantlay liked what he saw.
“[Woods' game] looked good to me. He chipped and putted real well, hit it solid and played well out there,” he said. “So obviously I’m sure he’s different in practice rounds than he is in a regular tournament, just like anybody else. But he looked good to me.”
The CordeValle GC is a Robert Trent Jones Jr. layout and the designer feels it to be one of his best creations. It's a pleasantly undulating track set through an attractive valley. There's an elevation change of some 150 feet out on the course so club selection is often challenging. It's just the second year the layout has been used to host this event.