Patrick Cantlay is glad his first Masters Tournament isn’t also his first major appearance.
The top-ranked amateur qualified for this year’s Masters by coming in second at the 2011 U.S. Amateur. He earned low amateur honors at the 2011 U.S. Open and believes that experience will aid him in Augusta.
“I think it’s helped me a lot, especially getting comfortable and not being overwhelmed by the atmosphere of the tournament,” he said.
Cantlay, 20, said he doesn’t find distracting the possibility that he might soon turn pro. In fact, he said he’s letting his father and swing coach worry about interested agents.
While they handle that part, Cantlay said, he can keep his attention on his game.
“I think that takes up most of my time, most of my focus,” he said. “I’m not really worried about what the future is, because if I stay really engaged in the present, then the future will take care of itself.”
Cantlay grabbed attention after his course-record 60 in the second round of the 2011 Travelers Championship. He is one of three golfers staying
in the Crow’s Nest atop the club-
house, a perk available only to amateurs. Corbin Mills and Kelly Kraft are also there.
As for his time on the course, Cantlay estimates he already has played at least seven rounds at Augusta National. Looking back at his previous rounds, he said he learned that TV doesn’t do justice to the course’s greens.
On TV, the greens look larger than they actually are. The shock has worn off a bit, though, and he is confident.
“I do feel like I can win this week,” said Cantlay, who won the 2011 Haskins Award as the most outstanding collegiate golfer. “I feel like any tournament I tee it up in, if I play well, I have a chance to win.”