UCLA's Cantlay announces he is turning pro

Amateur Patrick Cantlay during a practice round for the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Thursday, June 14, 2012, at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Amateur Patrick Cantlay during a practice round for the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Thursday, June 14, 2012, at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

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SAN FRANCISCO - It’s official. Patrick Cantlay has turned pro.

Cantlay, the world’s No. 1 amateur, will make his pro debut at this week’s Travelers Championship. He’s scheduled to tee off at 8:29 a.m. Thursday with Ryo Ishikawa and John Peterson.

Cantlay also has starts lined up in next week’s AT&T National and the following week’s Greenbrier Classic, as well as the Frys. Com Open, which is scheduled for Oct. 11-14.

Cantlay will be represented by Mark Steinberg, longtime agent for Tiger Woods. Cantlay, of Los Alamitos, Calif., has not signed with an equipment company and will carry a UCLA stand bag and wear a Virginia Country Club hat in the meantime.

He will be able to receive sponsor exemptions to two additional events this year. PGA Tour non-members are limited to seven sponsor invitations per year. He previously received an invitation to the Northern Trust Open earlier this year.

Cantlay, the 2012 Ben Hogan Award winner, has made seven of eight PGA Tour cuts as an amateur and made the cut in all three majors he has played. He was low amateur at the 2011 U.S. Open (T-21) and 2012 Masters (T-47), and finished T-41 at last week’s U.S. Open.

He tied for 24th at last year’s Travelers, including a second-round 60, which set the PGA Tour record for low round by an amateur. His best finish came at last year’s Canadian Open, where he finished ninth.

Cantlay was the No. 1 player in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings as a freshman and was Golfweek’s College Player of the Year and the Fred Haskins Award winner. He was runner-up in the 2011 U.S. Amateur, Western Amateur and NCAA Championship.

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