Teenager Tryon Makes Final Stage of Qualifying


PGA Tour (75x100)Ty Tryon faces a real dilemma now. Hes finished two stages of the PGA Tours Qualifying Tournament. Hes headed for the final stage ' which means he virtually has at least a Buy.Com Tour position wrapped up. But, while his golfing peers will be busily plying their trade on the junior tour or PGA Tour next year, Tryon is supposed to be entering his senior year at Orlandos Dr. Phillips High School.
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.