The SCGA’s reigning Player of the Year Patrick Cantlay will make the first of his three upcoming PGA Tour appearances later this week at the Northern Trust Open. The UCLA sophomore earned a sponsor’s exemption to the tournament, which is one that has special meaning to him.
“The Northern Trust Open was the first Tour event I ever attended, so it’s extremely special to me,” said Cantlay. “I’m most excited for the fact that I will be able to play a Tour event so close to home and to school.”
Cantlay made the cut in five different Tour events in 2011. He will also play in this year’s U.S. Open, Masters and British Open. And it seems likely that Cantlay will again have success at the Tour event this week, as he is quite familiar with the Riviera CC course.
“I’ve played [Riviera] 11 or 12 times,” said Cantlay. “The UCLA men’s team plays there every once in awhile, so that is nice.”
This week’s experience will also benefit Cantlay’s collegiate career, as the 2012 NCAA Championships will also be held at Riviera this May. Seeing the course in championship condition will likely give Cantlay an edge this spring.
“This will be a huge help for me, seeing Riviera in tournament condition,” he said. “I will definitely be taking notes and keeping them for NCAAs.”
The nineteen-year-old has already been paired with Tiger Woods in his young career, so who would he most like to tee it up with at the Northern Trust?
“Phil Mickelson. He always plays this event and he seems like a great guy.”