Golf

UCLA's Cantlay draws raves

BETHESDA, Md. —Patrick Cantlay hardly looked like an amateur on the back nine Friday at the U.S. Open.

Doesn't matter. He intends to remain one.

The 19-year-old Californian birdied Nos. 10, 11 and 12 — supposedly the most brutal stretch of the Blue Course — then picked up strokes at the 16th and 17th. He finished with a 67, which, combined with his first-round 75, puts him at even par at the halfway point.

"I had some confidence before I came here this week, but, yeah, it definitely makes you feel good about the future," Cantlay said, "and hopefully one day I can be playing as a pro."

But not anytime soon. He just finished his freshman year at UCLA and he said he plans to stay until he graduates.

"I have three more years," he said.

On June 5, as winner of the Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation's top college golfer, he posed with the Golden Bear himself.

Dinwiddie's other open — Sure, Robert Dinwiddie relishes the opportunity of playing in a U.S. Open. Now if he could just find a way into that other Open.

"Two out of three for this one," he said, "and then none out of 13 for the British."

That's right. The 28-year-old Brit — born in Scotland, now living in England — is 0-for-13 getting into the marquee event in his home country.

On this side of the pond, he made the cut at Torrey Pines in 2008 and tied for 36th. He struggled this week at Congressional with rounds of 78 and 74, in part because of recent back problems.

"I wasn't able to practice coming in, so I was a little rusty," he said. "It's a great experience. Disappointing I wasn't able to do a bit better."

But it would be an even better experience to be in the field next month at Royal St. George's. Qualifying has come and gone — again with no success — but there are still spots available based on top finishers in upcoming European Tour events.

"We'll see," he said. "There's still a chance."

Pan handling his first Open — At one end, there's Rory McIlroy, who is making the Blue Course look almost easy. At the other end, there are golfers like Cheng-tsung Pan, a 19-year-old amateur playing in his first U.S. Open.

Pan, who attends the University of Washington, followed a promising first round of 74 with a 78 on Friday.

"It gives me an appreciation," said Pan, who took up the game in his home town of Miaoli, Taiwan, where his mother worked as a caddie. "McIlroy is 11 under right now and I'm 10 over? Twenty-one shots difference? That's a lot. And the course is hard, as everyone knows. But there's still a way to play these courses, so I think I'll work harder in the future, just trying to get better."

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