Cantlay opts to go pro
American was certain of place at Royal Lytham as an amateur
Last Updated: 19/06/12 7:44pm
Patrick Cantlay: has made the cut in the last two US Opens, finishing 21st and 41st
World number one amateur Patrick Cantlay has turned professional, meaning he is now no longer exempt for this year's Open.
The American will play for money for the first time at the Travelers Championship, where his second-round 60 last year was the lowest score ever recorded by an amateur in a PGA Tour event.
Cantlay gained a place in the field for the Open at Royal Lytham because of his ranking at the end of last season, provided he remained an amateur to take it up.
"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 on signing for Excel Sports Management, whose agent Mark Steinberg has represented Tiger Woods throughout his career.
Cantlay has made the cut in the last two US Opens, finishing 21st and 41st, and was 47th at The Masters earlier in 2012.
The 20-year-old also had a ninth place finish at last year's Canadian Open and was part of the American Walker Cup side in Aberdeen last September.
He had been at the top of the rankings for the past 54 weeks and lost in the final of the US Amateur last August to Walker Cup team-mate Kelly Kraft, who himself turned professional after playing at Augusta.