Tryon This For Size

By Mercer BaggsMarch 9, 2001, 5:00 pm
Jesper Parnevik leads the Honda Classic by three shots after two rounds, but it's a guy who's closer to the cutline than the lead who's grabbing the spotlight.
Actually, guy is a bit misleading. Kid is more accurate.
Sixteen-year-old Ty Tryon followed an opening 67 with a 1-over-par 73 to become the second-youngest person ever to make a cut in PGA Tour history.
Tryon trails Parnevik by a healthy eight strokes. The 36-year-old Swede carded a 5-under-par 67 to move to 12-under for the tournament; three shots clear of John Huston (67), Mark Calcavecchia (68) and Chris Smith (68).
With hundreds of people in-tow and countless others watching on television, Tryon kept his composure throughout the roller-coaster round. The Lake Highland High School (Orlando, Fla.) sophomore climbed into a tie for second place at 9-under with three consecutive birdies on his back nine, but faltered down the stretch, playing his final five holes in 5-over.
'I'm incredibly happy right now and just - if I didn't finish so bad, I would probably be crazy right now,' said the teen, whose full name is William Augustus Tryon, IV.
At 4-under-par, Tryon made the 36-hole cut by two shots. If the first two days have been stressful, you'd never know it by his demeanor.
'I really wasn't nervous, except for the first hole Thursday,' Tryon said. 'Doing the live interview (with NBC following the second round) was the most nerve racking.'
Among those following Tyron shot for shot was his instructor, David Leadbetter.
'This is like a movie,' said Leadbetter. 'You see 16-year-olds playing like this in junior tournaments, but you don't see it in this company.'
After making the turn in 1-under-par 35, Tryon bogeyed the par-4 1st (his 10th). But he recovered quickly, sinking a 20-foot birdie putt at the second and adding two more on the third and fourth holes.
At that point, the 16-year-old was within two shots of the lead.
'I knew I was 9-under, but I didn't know I was in second place,' said the country's fifth-ranked junior amateur.
Then things began to crumble. Tryon nuked an 8-iron from 190 yards over the green at the par-3 5th. He fluffed his chip shot and carded a double-bogey 5.
Another bogey ensued at the sixth, and despite a seven-foot par save at the 7th, Tryon limped home with back-to-back bogeys over his closing two holes.
'I was just really happy the round was over,' said Tryon, who Monday qualified by shooting 70. 'I've got the hard part done, I think. I can just go and play as good as I can.'
The hard part's just beginning for Parnevik. Friday, he successfully navigated his ball through the gusty winds and over the crusty greens in just 67 strokes.
'It was a lot harder today,' said Parnevik, who held a share of the first-round lead. 'I'm more pleased with my round today than I was with my 65 yesterday, and I played a lot better today.'
This is a home event for Parnevik. He lives less than an hour from Coral Springs, where he's commuting to and from work this week.
'I don't know if it's an advantage, but it's always nice to sleep in your own bed,' he said.
Parnevik started slowly in the second round; playing his first six holes in 1-over. But then he holed a couple of 10-foot birdie putts on the 16th and 17th holes (his seventh and eighth holes on the day).
After a pair of birdies upon making the turn, Parnevik rolled in a 60-foot putt on the par-3 5th to move two shots clear of the field at 11-under-par. He added one more birdie at the par-4 7th, courtesy a chip-in, to complete his scoring.
Parnevik won't be looking over his shoulder to see where Tryon is over the weekend. But the four-time Tour winner is quite impressed by the teenager's accomplishment.
'It's unbelievable. I talked to a few guys and we could hardly remember what we did when we were 16,' joked Parnevik. 'I just remember how nervous I was at that age, probably just playing a local championship. So what he's doing here is unbelievable.'
All would agree, even the modest Tryon, himself.
'This is a lifetime experience,' he said. 'I just want to remember I've been here and just enjoy the memory. I want to go as low as I possibly can and I want to have a good time and enjoy it.'
On a normal weekend, Tryon said he'd be 'playing golf, hanging out, playing golf.' He'll be doing that this weekend; though he'll be doing so in the company to the game's best.
News, Notes and Numbers
*The youngest player to ever make a cut in a PGA Tour event is Bob Panasik at the 1957 Canadian Open. He was 15 years, eight months and 20 days old.
*John Daly posted the low round of the day, a 7-under-par 65. He's tied for fifth place at 8-under.
*Joe Durant, in search of his third straight victory, is tied for 22nd at 6-under after a second-round 71.
*Defending champion Dudley Hart is nine strokes off the 36-hole lead at 3-under. Hart has shot rounds of 70-71-141.
*First-round co-leaders Geoff Ogilvy and Ben Ferguson slipped in Round Two. Ogilvy shot 72 to fall into a tie for ninth at 7-under. Ferguson shot 75 to fall into a tie for 38th at 4-under.
*Richie Coughlan recorded the first hole-in-one since the tournament moved to the TPC at Heron Bay in 1996. Coughlan holed a 3-iron from 225 yards on No. 15. It's just the third ace in tournament history.
*79 players made the cut, which fell at 2-under-par 142. Among those who missed the cut were Aaron Baddeley and TPC at Heron Bay course designer Mark McCumber. Baddeley shot rounds of 76-69 to finish at 1-over. McCumber shot back-to-back 75s to finish at 6-over. Baddeley has now missed nine cuts in 10-career PGA Tour starts.
*Eight of the nine past champions in the field made the cut. Steve Pate, who won in 1991, was the lone exception. He withdrew prior to the second round due to a rib injury.
*In the 28-year history of the tournament, only six players have held at least a share of the 36-hole lead and gone on to win. Tim Herron was the last to do so in 1996.
Click here for full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

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.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

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.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

The statement reads:

The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.