BETHESDA, Md. -- He's already the top player in the NCAA ranks.
On Friday, he accomplished something that precious few amateurs have ever done.
Yet 19-year-old Patrick Cantlay is resolute -- he will not be turning pro until after he graduates with a degree in three years.
Cantlay shot a 4-under 67 in the second round at Congressional, the fifth-best round in Open history by an amateur, which assured him of playing on the weekend.
Cantlay, who has hardly been slowed by an incredibly hectic schedule heading into the Open, looked as cool and collected as any of the professionals in his first major appearance. Not bad for a kid who just finished his freshman year at UCLA.
"Not quite feeling that way inside," he said. "But yeah, for the most part, I felt calm and comfortable out there."
Over the past 11 days, Cantlay has played golf in Oklahoma (at the NCAA finals), Ohio (Open sectional qualifier), Connecticut (Palmer Cup matches against U.K. team) and the District of Columbia.
While in Columbus, he also received the Jack Nicklaus Award as college player of the year. All that said, he didn't have many expectations entering this week.
"I'm just going to try and play the golf course as best I can. It's a great experience," he said. "It's a lot of fun, and I'm just going to try and learn from the other guys and learn from the experience.
"I had some confidence before I came here this week, but yeah, it definitely it makes you feel good about the future, and hopefully one day I can be playing as a pro."
It took a nanosecond before he was asked what his future plans will entail. He didn't hesitate, either.
"To graduate," he said.