Aberdeen, Scotland – Patrick Cantlay has been officially recognized as the world’s best amateur golfer for 2011.
Taking a break from preparations for this weekend’s Walker Cup matches, the 19-year-old’s achievements were marked by receiving the Mark H McCormack Medal from the late IMG founder’s daughter, Leslie McCormack Gathy, at Royal Aberdeen.
Cantlay, from Los Alamitos, Calif., became the fifth recipient of the medal awarded to the leading player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) at the culmination of the amateur summer season. Cantlay’s runner-up finish in the U.S. Amateur at Erin Hills last month secured his position at the top of the standings.
It marks the culmination of a successful year for the UCLA sophomore that began with a run to the semi-final of the 2010 U.S. Amateur while still a high school student. A long line of awards and achievements have followed, most notably finishing as low amateur at June’s U.S. Open Championship at Congressional Country Club with a level-par score of 284 to tie for 21st place.
Speaking shortly after he received the Medal, Cantlay said: I had a great year, played really well and it’s a great feeling because there are a lot of good players out there.
My aims for 2012 are to have a good year at UCLA, win the national championship, try and get a team championship at the NCAA and to do the best I can to retain this medal.
His other successes in 2011 include a tie for 24th at the Travelers Championship, two weeks after the U.S. Open, where he posted 60 in the second round – the lowest round ever scored by an amateur on the PGA Tour.
He also finished tied 20th at the AT&T Championship and tied ninth at the Canadian Open as he made four top-25 finishes on the PGA Tour.
On the amateur circuit he won the SCGA (Southern California Golf Association) Amateur Championship and finished runner-up in both the U.S. and Western Amateurs.
Cantlay is keen to finish the season on a high by helping the USA Team retain the Walker Cup this weekend.
It means a lot to be here. Along with the McCormack Medal it is one of the highest honour an amateur golfer can have, to represent your country, and I’m really looking forward to it, he added.
It’s going to be a great week and it would just cap off a remarkable year if we can win at the weekend.
The World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) were established in 2007 when the Men’s ranking was launched. The Women’s ranking went live in 2011 and WAGR, which is now administered in partnership with the United States Golf Association, has quickly become recognized as the world’s pre-eminent amateur golf ranking system, with numerous event organizers using it as an entry criterion for their events.
The Mark H McCormack Medal
The Mark H McCormack Medal is awarded to the player ranked number one in the World Amateur Golf Ranking after the European Amateur Championship or U.S. Amateur Championship, whichever concludes the last. The award is named after Mark H McCormack, the late founder of sports marketing company IMG and an avid supporter of amateur golf.
Previous Winners: 2010 Peter Uihlein (USA), 2009 Nick Taylor (Canada), 2008 Danny Lee (New Zealand), 2007 Colt Knost (USA).
Based in St. Andrews, The R&A organizes The Open Championship, major amateur events and international matches. Together with the United States Golf Association, The R&A governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The R&A’s working jurisdiction is global, excluding the United States and Mexico.
The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the game internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. The R&A operates with the consent of 143 organizations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in 128 countries.