Golf's next wave might be very, very good. UCLA's Patrick Cantlay earning low amateur honors at the 2012 Masters after his fantastic, insane final round is a good bit of evidence for that.
Cantlay began his round with a prosaic front nine: an eagle, two birdies, and two bogeys left him in shape to make a run at even par for the tournament. But then came a bizarre back nine that made roller-coaster rides look sedate.
Cantlay started with a bogey on No. 11 and a birdie on No. 12; that was the easy part. Then Cantley fired a quadruple bogey nine on the par-5 No. 13, and followed it up with a double bogey six on No. 14.
He might have been forgiven had he walked off the course crying after taking 15 strokes to complete two consecutive holes, but, instead, Cantlay recovered to go eagle-birdie-birdie over his next three holes, and ended up coming in in 2-over 38 and finishing with an even-par 72.
Cantlay's low amateur honors match the same distinction he earned at the 2011 U.S. Open, and he can add the laurel to a growing list of accomplishments that includes a 60 at the 2011 Travelers Championship that was the lowest round ever by an amateur on the PGA Tour and a runner-up finish in the 2011 U.S. Amateur.
It might not be long before Cantlay, who turned 20 on St. Patrick's Day in March, is holding trophies instead of amateur records.