Let The Game Begin


Ty Tryon makes his 2002 debut at this weeks Phoenix Open. The 17-year-old high school junior accepted a sponsors invitation, one of seven he is allowed before his 18th birthday June 2.
This will be Tryons fourth career tour start. The teen, who successfully made it through all three stages of the 2001 Qualifying Tournament, made the cut in both events he played in as an amateur a year ago. He missed the cut in the Michelob Championship, his first start as a professional.
Tryon first caught national attention when he tied for 39th at the Honda Classic as a 16-year-old Monday qualifier. Four and a half months later, he tied for 37th in the B.C. Open.
Mark Calcavecchia is the defending champion. He won last year with a 28-under-par 256, breaking a 72-hole tour aggregate scoring record, held for 46 years by Mike Souchak.
Calcavecchia, who has a home in the Phoenix area, shot rounds of 65-60-64-67 in winning for the first time since the 1998 Honda Classic. The victory was Calcavecchias third triumph at the TPC of Scottsdale, having won previously in 1989 and 1992.
'Each one is special in its own way,' said the 1989 British Open champion. 'But setting the scoring record, especially with a couple days of bad weather and against that field - which was the best we had all year except for the majors and the Tournament Players Championship - made the 28-under that much better.
'It was the highlight of my year. My No. 1 goal was to qualify for the Ryder Cup team, and getting right off to a great start here at Phoenix and getting the confidence that I achieved from winning here really springboarded me on to have a great first four months of the year through the Masters.'
The now 41-year-old played well early in the 2001 season, earning a quartet of top-5s, culminating with a tie for fourth at the Masters Tournament. However, thanks to a series of aches and pains, and inconsistent putting, Calcavecchia recorded only one top-15 finish over his final 15 tournaments.
He has started this season with a tie for fifth in the season-opening Mercedes Championships and missed the cut in last weeks Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
One-hundred-and-32 players are in the field, including David Duval, Davis Love III, 1996 champion and last week's winner Phil Mickelson, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Nick Price and 1992 champion Vijay Singh.
The winner will receive $720,000.
This will be the first time since the Super Bowl started in 1967 that the NFL championship game will not be contested the same week as the Phoenix Open.
Due to the Sept. 11 attacks, the NFL pushed back their schedule a week, forcing the Super Bowl to be played the Sunday of next weeks AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
CBS will broadcast the tournament Saturday and Sunday; however, they are also scheduled to show the AFC championship game in Pittsburgh Sunday. Therefore, the final round of the Phoenix Open will be pushed back and shown after the game.
Full field and stats on the Phoenix Open
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