Patrick Cantlay gains British Open exemption as McCormack winner

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (Nov. 30, 2011) -- UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay is going to the Open Championship under a new qualifying category for golf’s oldest championship.

The R&A said Wednesday that the winner of the McCormack Medal as the No. 1 player in the world amateur golf ranking at the end of the amateur season earns an automatic spot in the Open Championship. That change is effective for 2012, when the Open will be played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

Cantlay, the low amateur at the U.S. Open and runner-up at the U.S. Amateur, won the McCormack Medal this year as the top-ranked amateur. He already has earned exemptions to the Masters and the U.S. Open in 2012 for reaching the championship match at the U.S. Amateur.

ABOUT THE British Open

The most coveted trophy in the game and one of the most iconic in all of sport: more commonly referred to as the Claret Jug. Within minutes of winning the British Open, the "Champion Golfer of the World" gets his name engraved on that cup, and a place in golfing history.

Amateurs have played an important role in the tournament over the years, with players like Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, and more recently Tom Lewis stepping into the international limelight with their golfing performances.

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