Tryon 35 Others Gain PGA Tour Cards


PGA Tour (75x100)Thirty-six players earned their 2002 PGA Tour cards Monday through the tours Qualifying Tournament in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Pat Perez led the way, shooting a final-round 72 to finish medallist at 27-under-par 405. Perez, who has never played a single tournament on golfs premiere circuit, led over each of the final four days to collect the $50,000 first-place check.
But it was another who garnered the majority of the attention.
Seventeen-year-old Ty Tryon fired a 6-under 66 to secure his eligibility on the PGA Tour next season. The high school junior completed 108 holes of play tied for 23rd place at 18-under 414.
Im going to go to bed tonight and realize Im on the PGA Tour, he said.
Click for more on Ty Tryons ascent to the PGA Tour
Though the headliner, Tryon was but one of many stories from the sixth and final round at the Bear Lakes Country Club ' not all of which had a happy ending.
Brad Elder was comfortably above the card line before making triple-bogey 7 at the par-4 first. A member of the tour the past two seasons, Elder birdied five of his next six holes en route to a 69. He finished the event tied for eighth at 23-under.
Russ Cochran started the day one shot off the cut line ' top 35 scores and ties - only to shoot 8-under 64 on Monday. The 19-year tour veteran made the turn in 29 and never looked back, finishing the event tied for 10th place at 22-under.
Gary Nicklaus was one shot higher at minus-21. Making his 10th appearance in the Qualifying Tournament, Nicklaus broke par in all six rounds, including a final-round 71.
Boo Weekley (69) completed the event at 18-under 414. The 28-year-old from Milton, Fla., has never competed on the PGA Tour. In fact, he wears rain pants due to a skin condition, and running shoes because of foot problems.
He has, however, won 26 mini-tour events.
I was just here to have fun. If I made it, I made it; if I didnt, I didnt, he said in his deep Southern drawl. Im just a country boy who likes to have a good time. Aint that what its all about ' have a good time?
Several players were deprived of Weekleys joy.
Robert Gamez, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, shot 2-over 74 Monday to miss earning his card by one shot.
D.A. Points missed out by two strokes. He closed his front nine with three straight birdies, but carded a 2-over 38 on the back nine.
Then there was the story of Roland Thatcher. On the magical number ' 17-under ' with one hole to play, Thatcher hit his second shot well right of the green; it caught the cart path and caromed onto the roof of a building.
He tried to take a drop, but was instead forced to replay his shot from its original position in a fairway bunker. He made a triple-bogey to finish at 14-under 418. Still, he has somewhere to play in 2002, as the next 50 after the top 35 and ties earn full status on the Buy.Com Tour. The remaining players get conditional status on the developmental circuit.
Top 35 scorers and ties
Pat Perez
Bob Burns, Pete Jordan, Kenneth Staton
Ben Crane , Ian Leggatt, John Senden
Tommy Armour III, Brad Elder
Russ Cochran, Danny Ellis, Peter Lonard
Jess Daley, Robin Freeman, Shaun Micheel, Gary Nicklaus, Brett Wetterich
Brent Schwarzrock
Steven Allan, Michael Allen, Bob Heintz, Eduardo Herrera
Paul Claxton, Luke Donald, Brad Lardon, Lee Porter, John Riegger, Hidemichi Tanaka, Phil Tataurangi, Ty Tryon, Boo Weekley
Brian Bateman, Jeff Brehaut, Stephen Gangluff, Kent Jones, Blaine McCallister, Steven Allan, Michael Allen, Bob Heintz, Eduardo Herrera
Full-field scores from the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament