Tryon Has High Hopes for Tucson
Life in the big-time has not been easy for the 18-year-old golfer, and he hopes the relatively low-key atmosphere of the Chrysler Classic of Tucson, which begins a four-day run on Thursday, helps him turn his game around.
For the past three years, and 12 times in the event's history, the tournament formerly known as the Tucson Open has provided a golfer with his first PGA Tour triumph.
With most of golf's big names playing in the Match Play Championship this week, the opportunity is ripe for someone else to break through on the par-72, 7,109-yard course at the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort and Spa.
``The course is really set up good for longer hitters, like young players,'' Tryon said Wednesday, ``because a lot of par 5s are reachable. I love the course a lot. It surprised me. It's not what I thought it would be. I thought it would be like a desert course.''
Tryon has a medical exemption for 21 PGA events this year after he sat out most of last year with mononucleosis. He has missed the cut in the three tournaments he's played this year. The worst was his latest, the Pebble Beach National Pro-AM on the first week in February, when he was 21-over-par 237 through three rounds.
``I don't want to talk about it,'' he said. ``It was a bad experience.''
Tryon said the mechanics of his game are far better than they were when in 2001, at 17, he became the youngest player ever to win a PGA Tour card.
``But I think my middle game, my emotional game, mental game, haven't been very good the last few tournaments,'' he said. ``A few tournaments this year, I just didn't handle myself that well. Like I missed shots, stupid plays, stuff you shouldn't be doing. That's the problem, I think, junior golfer or amateur golfer type stuff.''
Tyron has finished in the money only once in a PGA event, earning $8,620 when he tied for 41st at the Tampa Bay Classic last year. He must top $515,445 in tour earnings in his medical exemption events to qualify for the remainder of this year's PGA Tour.
The winner in Tucson earns $540,000.
``You play a good week and you've got it,'' Tryon said.
His father Bill is with him this week, but Tryon is trying to keep his entourage to a minimum to concentrate on his game.
``That's my goal, to just play good golf,'' he said.
Rain softened the course Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, and unless the wind starts blowing and hardens the greens, scores should be low. Ian Leggatt won last year with a 72-hole score of 20-under 268.
``It's a golf course you can really pick apart when the wind's not blowing,'' said Arron Oberholser, a 28-year-old tour rookie who last played on the course in 1994 when he was a freshman at San Jose State.
Oberholser, 39th on the tour earnings list this year, finished tied for fourth at the Buick Invitational two weeks ago.
``It was awesome,'' he said. ``If it wasn't for a balky putter on the weekend, I could have contended there. I don't know if I would have won. I don't know if I would have beaten Tiger, but I think I could have come real close. I hit 27 greens on the weekend, and I shot 1-under.''
While there is no Woods or Mickelson in Tucson, the competition will be fierce, Oberholser said.
``There are no weak fields on the PGA Tour,'' he said. ``I can assure you that everybody out here, if given the opportunity, would do just fine at the match play.''
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.