NEW YORK -- World No. 1-ranked amateur Patrick Cantlay has turned professional, and will make his debut in this week's Travelers Championship, where his second-round 60 last year was the lowest score ever recorded by an amateur in a PGA Tour event.
"I have a tremendous passion and respect for the game of golf and can't wait for the challenge of taking my game to the next level," he said.
The 20-year-old Cantlay’s decision means he is no longer exempt for next month's British Open. He had been given a place at Royal Lytham because of his amateur ranking at the end of last season, but had to stay amateur to take it up.
Cantlay has made the cut in the last two U.S. Opens, finishing 21st and 41st, and was 47th at the Masters this April. He also had a ninth-place finish at last year's Canadian Open and was part of the U.S. Walker Cup side in Aberdeen last September.
He had been at the top of the amateur rankings for the past 54 weeks and lost in the final of the U.S. Amateur last August to his Walker Cup teammate Kelly Kraft, who turned professional after playing at Augusta National two months ago -- and as a result also lost his British Open spot.
Cantlay signing for Excel Sports Management, whose agent Mark Steinberg has represented Tiger Woods throughout his career.
Also this week, Dylan Frittelli of South Africa, who holed a 30-foot birdie putt at Riviera to win the decisive match and give Texas the NCAA men’s title a few weeks ago, has signed with IMG and makes his pro debut this week at the BMW International in Germany.