Ty Tryon is an exception. An exceptional exception. The 16-year-old high school student Monday qualified for this week's Honda Classic. That, in and of itself, is impressive. The fact that he shot 5-under-par 67 in his first Tour event is utterly phenomenal.
The Lake Highland High School student is just two shots off the 18-hole lead in Coral Springs, Fla. Tryon carded seven birdies and two bogeys on a windless day at the TPC at Heron Bay. He finished the round with three consecutive birdies, though he didn't realize it until he checked his scorecard.
'I know it sounds weird. I really didn't even know and I looked and it was like, 'Gees, that's pretty awesome,'' Tryon said.
Tryon is one-upping his fellow high school teammate, Christo Greyling. Greyling qualified for the 2000 Buick Challenge, but missed the cut. Tryon's goal was just to hang around for the weekend. But a 67 can quickly alter one's outlook.
'I really just wanted to make the cut. That was my goal coming in today. Now, I want to do as good as I can, I guess,' Tryon said.
The amateur began his day with three consecutive pars, and then rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-5 4th to get into red numbers. He followed that by sticking a 6-iron to six feet on the par-3 5th for his second straight birdie.
A birdie at the ninth was sandwiched between a pair of bogeys on the eighth and 10th holes. One-under through 13 holes, Tryon finished his remarkable round by posting birdies at the 14th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes.
'I tried to play my own game,' said Tryon, who hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation and took 27 putts. 'I tried to take out the PGA part of the tournament and play it like a normal golf course and that helped.'
One round into his PGA Tour experience, Tryon has already discovered what he needs to work on to be a competitive player when he turns professional.
'I just need to keep on working on everything, just getting better and hitting straighter off the tee. My putting - putting is a lot tougher out here. You can make some putts, but the greens are ten times faster than the greens I play. I walked some long putts quite a ways by; so I need to work on that.'
Speaking of work, it has been said a bad day of golf still beats a good day at work. What about a great day of golf? Certainly beats a good day in Algebra class - if there's such a thing.
Of course, it has also been said that all good things must come to an end. But whether Tryon has one more round left in him or three, it has already been an unforgettable experience for the teen. His wake from the fairytale may not come until Monday, when he returns to school.
'It's already been mind-boggling. Going back is going to even be more mind-boggling.'
So too will be the workload.
'I've got a lot of schoolwork to make up for the days I missed,' he said.
Not that is wasn't worth it.
Click here for full-field scores from the Honda Classic