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Patrick Cantlay, the world’s top amateur golfer, announced Tuesday that he would turn professional and sign with Tiger Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management,  before this week’s Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn.

(Photo: uclabruins.com)

The 20-year-old from California, who set the tourney scoring record with a 60 in last year’s second round of the New England event, said he would forfeit his junior and senior years at UCLA to try his hand on the PGA Tour circuit.

“I am so grateful to UCLA and the NCAA for the relationships I’ve formed and the opportunities I’ve had to compete and develop at the collegiate level,” Cantlay said in a release, according to PGATour.com. “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.”

Steinberg was pleased to add Cantlay to his stable of golfers, which includes Tiger’s niece, Cheyenne Woods, as well as Danielle Kang, who won the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur at nearby Rhode Island CC before turning pro.

“Patrick is an outstanding individual, as well as an exceptional talent who already has proven success at the professional level,” PGATour.com quoted Steinberg as saying. “We are excited to work with him in this new chapter of his golf career.”

Cantlay, who had a stellar amateur career that included winning several awards as the most outstanding college golfer, is expected to make his decision official in a 3 p.m. press conference at TPC River Highlands, site of the Travelers. He will make his pro debut at the Travelers a week after sharing 41st place at the U.S. Open and will play at the Woods’ hosted AT&T National later this month as well as in July’s Greenbrier Classic, according to Golfweek.

Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminer

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