In his freshman year at UCLA, Cantlay won four tournaments and won the Haskins Award as the most outstanding college golfer in 2011. He was also named the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year. Cantlay also won the Phil Mickelson Award as the GCAA National Freshman of the Year in addition to being the Pac-10 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. He also won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the top-ranked amateur in the world at the end of the 2011 season. This award earned him an invitation to the 2012 Open Championship.