Cantlay, Spieth receive Northern Trust invites

Patrick Cantlay at the Travelers Championship
Patrick Cantlay at the Travelers Championship ( Associated Press )

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Two of the best amateurs in the country have received sponsor exemptions into the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open.

UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay and Texas freshman Jordan Spieth were among the eight players who received invitations into the Feb. 16-19 event at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Both players have PGA Tour experience: Cantlay made the cut in five Tour events in 2011, including a T-9 at the RBC Canadian Open, and Spieth has contended at the past two HP Byron Nelson Championships.

Their appearance in two weeks will mark an NCAA preview of sorts, as the NCAA Championship will be held May 29-June 3 at Riviera. Spieth and Cantlay are ranked Nos. 2 and 6, respectively, in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.

Two-time Riviera champ Fred Couples also received an exemption, along with K.T. Kim, Ryo Ishikawa, Yuta Ikeda, Billy Hurley III and Erik Compton.