ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay is going to the Open Championship under a new qualifying category for golf’s oldest championship.
The R&A said Wednesday that the winner of the McCormack Medal as the No. 1 player in the world amateur golf ranking at the end of the amateur season earns an automatic spot in the Open Championship. That change is effective for 2012, when the Open will be played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
Cantlay, the low amateur at the U.S. Open and runner-up at the U.S. Amateur, won the McCormack Medal this year as the top-ranked amateur. He already has earned exemptions to the Masters and the U.S. Open in 2012 for reaching the championship match at the U.S. Amateur.
Cantlay, of Los Alamitos, Calif., was Golfweek‘s College Player of the Year as a freshman.