Photo Getty Image
The562’s coverage of Long Beach State athletics for the 2022-23 season is sponsored by Marilyn Bohl.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach golf for the 2023 season is sponsored from Dan and Desiree Gooch.
Last month, incoming Long Beach State freshman Jack Cantlay went from watching his older brother, Patrick, compete in the British Open to competing himself in the 74th U.S. Junior Amateur at Bandon Dunes in just a matter of days.
Not only did Cantlay advance to the match play stage in his first round in the tournament, and at Bandon Dunes, he set a United States Golf Association record for lowest nine-hole score with an 8-under 28. Cantlay had two eagles in the round, and broke the record set by Eric Bae in 2014 and Yuki Moriyama in 2018.
“It just kind of happened to be that I played well,” Cantlay said. “It wasn’t a surprise, it was just the cherry on top of a good round.”
“He’s been working really hard on his game and it’s really nice to see all of the improvement,” said Patrick Cantlay, who is the reigning FedEx Cup champion. “We played a couple of years ago about getting sharper around the greens and he’s improved that a lot. But the thing I like about it is that he was four over par after eight holes, and then instead of panicking and losing it, he went out and played his last 10 holes at nine under. That’s great for someone who hasn’t played a USGA championship before. That shows a lot of character.”
Jack Cantlay, 18, considers himself a conservative golfer and is surprisingly mature, measured and humble for his age.
“I think it was kind of dumb luck, if I’m being honest. It just happened to be the perfect conditions and the right course set up,” Cantlay said. “I think they had set the course up for a lot of wind. I played in the afternoon and there was a lot of fog that rolled in that kind of killed the wind. So that actually made the course pretty easy being that the pins were in pretty accessible locations.”
Cantlay grew up in Los Alamitos and now turns his attention to Long Beach State where he wants to be the best golfer in the Big West Conference.
“I think it’s going to be really fun,” he said. “Growing up around Long Beach, it’s always been a thing to go play for Long Beach State so I’m excited to finally achieve that goal and start my journey.”
Playing at Virginia Country Club with his family has also helped Cantlay prepare for tough rounds. He still works with LBSU alum and coach Brett Lederer.
“The culture around (Virginia CC) is one of the best parts because you’re surrounded by so many good players to compete with,” Cantlay said. “That’s led to a lot of development.”
That development started early because Cantaly’s grandpa had a putting green in his backyard where he and his siblings would spend a lot of time.
“As soon as I could stand up I had a putter in my hand,” Cantlay said.
Cantlay added that his relationships with his brother, and other siblings who also play golf, isn’t all golf all the time, and they like it that way. He wants to develop his own game.
“Everything evolves over time to try and get better,” Cantlay said. “The approach on how I play and my swing in general is always changing as I look for tweaks to make it more efficient. It’s always a constant grind to get better at everything.”
The LBSU men’s golf season starts next month.