Amateur Patrick Cantlay’s aversion to par had a silver lining Sunday.
Cantlay’s round of 72 included a quadruple bogey, a double bogey, an eagle, three birdies and one bogey – and that was on seven of the last eight holes.
“It was an up and down round out there,” said Cantlay, 20, a sophomore at UCLA. “I had a bunch of highs and lows. A 72’s not too bad. It’s just really bad considering how well I played. I played really well today.”
Cantlay played well enough to be low amateur at the Masters at 7-over 295 and wrest the Silver Cup away from Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, last year’s low amateur who was two strokes behind after an 80 on Sunday.
“I think I’m very disappointed in the fact that I can’t get the Silver Cup,” Matsuyama said through translator Masaki Chiba. “But at the same time, my goal to be in the top 16 (and automatically qualify for the 2013 Masters) wasn’t fulfilled, too, so I’m just disappointed in that.”
The other amateur who survived Friday’s cut, Kelly Kraft, finished 18-over after rounds of 74-75-77-80. Kraft, 23, turns professional today with his entry into the Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He will be introduced for the first time as a professional, and no doubt as a player from the just-completed Masters.
“That’ll be all right,” Kraft said. “Just don’t tell them what I shot.”
Cantlay, the top-ranked amateur in the world, left the course figuring Matsuyama’s silver rush would continue. Cantlay started the day at 7-over after rounds of 71-78-74.
He birdied Nos. 2 and 6, and made eagle at the par-4 7th, as well as bogeys at Nos. 4 and 9 on the front nine.
A disastrous par-5 13th cost him four extra strokes. He said a “really nice drive” was followed by a second shot into the water.
“That was like my third time hitting it in the water on my second shot on that hole,” said Cantlay, who “chunked” the next shot into the water as well.
He took a drop and placed his next shot over the green, followed by a chip shot to the fringe and eventually got a tap-in.
After a double bogey at the par-4 14th, Cantlay recovered in a big way with a 5-foot eagle putt at the par-5 15th.
“I was really upset, so I wasn’t going to lay up, especially after hitting those wedges in the water,” Cantlay said. “So I hit a 3-wood and lucked out and got up to like 5 feet. I didn’t really care at that point if I missed or I made it, and I made it.”
Cantlay came away with greater confidence in his putting stroke, he said. This week at the Masters was an education for this trio of amateurs.
“I think I need to improve my putting, and then I will come back next year,” said Matsuyama, 20, who has two more years of studies at Tohoku Fukushi University.
“I learned that I need to learn how to hit a draw,” Kraft said. “I haven’t been able to hit a draw this week. I just need to go back home and just kind of go back to the fundamentals and kind of get back in my own rhythm.”
Cantlay said he gained knowledge in the course details, where to hit the ball and not to hit it. But he also brought with him wisdom imparted by John Cook, a former PGA Tour and longtime Champions Tour player.
“John Cook told me that golf’s just golf, no matter where you’re playing,” Cantlay said. “So I think that will help, considering I played here this week and I go to a college event next week.”