Teenager Tryon Makes Final Stage of Qualifying
He successfully completed the second stage at Orange County National in Orlando Friday, finishing in a tie for 12th place behind a trio deadlocked for medallist honors. Marco Dawson, Jim McGovern and Danny Ellis ' all who have PGA Tour experience ' finished at 8-under-par for the four rounds of competition.
Full-Field Scores from Orange County National - Orlando, Fla.
The 17-year-old Tryon obviously was a little surprised at his good fortune. He will play for a PGA Tour card at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 28-Dec. 3. The top 35 and ties make it, while the rest are at least assured of a conditional Buy.Com card.
What will Tryon do ' sit in class for his senior year at Dr. Phillips in 2002-2003, or strike out on a golf career at a much younger age than his American tour counterparts?
I dont really know what Im going to do right now, he said. This is all so sudden. Ill have to sit down and think about those other things a little bit later.
Tryon can be excused for being a bit bewildered by all this. First, he was medallist at the first stage of qualifying. He opened the second stage by firing a 63. And in weather that was blustery all week, he hung on Friday to sail into the finals.
I said I wasnt going to be nervous today, he said. But I was. I wasnt nervous at the start, but later on ' yeah, I got nervous out in the fairway a couple of times.
It wouldnt be stretching the truth much to say he handled the nerves like a veteran.
He started out with a birdie at the par-4 1st. He birdied the par-4 3rd. After a par at the 4th and a good drive at the 5th, he was only 140 yards away from the 5th green and already 2-under on the day.
Then, the bizarre happened. Hitting dead into the wind from 140, the wind caught his ball and it flew the green, dying in a lake ' double bogey. Next, the 6th, and an incensed Tryon had a 15-foot putt for birdie. He was so mad that he three-putted ' bogey.
Then came the 7th hole, a par-5, and Tryon was in perfect position for his third shot, facing only an 85-yard lob wedge. He was stunned by what happened next ' a chili dip, a fat shot that plunked into another lake. He walked off that green with another double bogey.
He had played the three-hole stretch in 5-over, after opening at 2-under. Now he had lost most of his comfy cushion. He knew he was dangerously close to washing out at the second stage.
At that point, I didnt know what was happening, said Tryon. I had started out so well, I still was hitting it good, but suddenly I was 3-over.
The back nine, though, he played in even-par. He birdied No. 10, stumbled with bogeys at the 13th and 14th to put himself right on the cut line, but bore down on No. 16 with a 7-iron to 10 feet and a birdie putt. He ended the day with a 75 and a 286 score, getting under the wire with a shot to spare.
It shouldnt have been nearly so hard, he said.
I actually hit the ball pretty well, Tryon said of the second-stage experience. I really drove it well. But the greens were a little tricky. Thats where I had problems.
He gave credit to McGovern, who played alongside him in the final grouping Friday.
Jim kept telling me, Hang in there! Just hang in there! He was really a big help. I dont know what I would have done without him.
Click on the following links to see final scores for stage two of PGA Tour Qualifying at each site:
Orange County National - Orlando, Fla.
Hombre Golf Club - Panama City Beach, Fla.
Oak Valley Golf Club - Beaumont, Calif.
Check out the results from last week's venues.
Check out the results from stage one.
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.