BETHESDA, MD (June 18, 2011) – While 22-year old Rory McIlroy is running away with the 111 U.S. Open there are a couple of young American amateurs that are putting on a pretty good show. Patrick Cantlay, the 19-year incoming sophomore at UCLA is currently in a tie for 15th (75-67-70—212), while Russell Henley, the 22-year old recent graduate from University of Georgia is a stroke back in 21st place (73-69-71—213). Brad Benjamin, from Rockford, Ill., also made the cut but a third round 80 set him back to 71st place.
It was all going well for Henley today on the front nine. Birdies on holes No’s 4, 6, 8 and 9 got him to -4 for the tournament but the more difficult back nine took its toll with 4 bogeys and he finished with an even-par score of 71.
Henley has already won a Low Amateur medal at a last year’s U.S. Open and tomorrow he looks to be the first person to win back to back LA’s in 20 years. He plans on turning pro after the Walker Cup later this year.
Patrick Cantlay was looking to follow up a brilliant 67 yesterday with another score in deep in red figures. A two-under par score on the front had him on track but he could manage just one-over par on the back for a third round score of 70.
“I played well today,” said Cantlay. “I had a lot of fun. I was able to make a few putts. I hit it good. I kept it in the fairway for most of the day.”
Cantlay, the winner of the Jack Nicklaus award as the nation’s top golfer for 2011, is not planning on turning pro until he earns his degree at UCLA.