The Future Follows the Past Sometimes
A couple of hours after tournament host Arnold Palmer made his exit, Ty Tryon made his entrance.
Tryon is playing on a sponsors exemption this week, given to him by Palmer. Its one of seven hes allowed before his 18th birthday on June 2. But while the 72-year-old Palmer offered the 17-year-old Tryon an invite into his tournament, it doesnt mean he approves of the path the high school junior is taking.
I turned pro when I was 25 and it certainly didnt hinder my life to wait until then, said Palmer, who served in the military for three years.
Tryon turned professional last year, after making the cut in a couple of PGA Tour events as an amateur.
Palmer wouldnt provide his unobstructed opinion on Tryons decision, but said he wouldnt advise his 14-year-old grandson ' who, at six-feet tall and 180lbs, crushes the ball and shoots in the 60s and 70s ' to take go the same route.
My grandson (Sam) will complete high school starting this coming year, and if everything goes well, and he keeps his nose clean, hell go to Wake Forest University (Palmers alma mater), play four years and graduate. And then, if hes a good enough player, he might play on the tour, and thats my direction for him.
Palmer said he wouldnt dictate his grandsons life, and would allow him to turn professional early, if he so desired. But, the 60-time tour winner noted, life is short, and there are a lot of things that you need to know other than golf.
Palmer and Tryon have met on several occassions - if not to talk about the road less traveled. Both are sponsored by Callaway Golf, and have shot a commercial together.
It was amazing, Tryon said. He was just telling me and Charles (Howell) and (Nick) Dougherty about the 50s, 60s, 70s - how the tour, it was a loose branch of tournaments and how they got them organized and stuff. It was pretty neat.
Tryon is competing in his fourth event of the season, having missed the cut in his previous three starts.
I havent had the success that I would like to have, he said. I know its a long year and Im going to have a few bad tournaments and a few missed cuts. Im just trying to get better and play better each week.
Phoenix, I didnt play well. But then, Doral, I played better and Honda I played better. And so its improving. I guess, (I'm) still getting settled.
The Orlando resident should feel comfortable this week, having played the course since he was 11. However, there are some new wrinkles ' and not just the course changes.
Its the first time Ive ever been in the locker room here because you have to be 18, he laughingly pointed out.
As for schooling, Tryon hasnt been to class in three weeks; though, he is traveling with a tutor.
It complicates it when youre not present at school, but I find its worth the trouble being out here, for sure, he said.
Tryons next event will be the BellSouth Classis in three weeks. Hes also considering the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open, May 17-20 in Germany, where Tiger Woods and John Daly have already committed to play.
I thought I had a schedule planned out, but I dont really know anymore. Things have kind of changed, he said.
Tryons popularity has soared since earning his 02 playing privilege through the Qualifying Tournament. Wednesday, he launched his new website, www.TyTryon.com.
His profile continues to rise. And, just as the golf world has taken notice of his immense potential, so, too, have the girls.
Maybe. A little bit, he said with a smile.
Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test
One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.
Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.
"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."
Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.
"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.
"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18