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.