Tryon qualified for the final two rounds for the first time this year. He entered the Bay Hill Invitational 0-for-5 on the season, and 1-for-12 in his brief professional career.
Its good being home and doing it. I knew it was going to happen; Ive been playing well the last two tournaments Ive played, he said. I just knew if I could keep my head out of the clouds the last two holes, Id be fine. The last two tournaments I think Im good and I just have a train wreck.
Tryon competed in just six events last season because of an extended bout of mononucleosis. He is playing this year on a medical extension. He has 21 events to earn $506,825 -- equivalent to 125th on the 2002 money list when combined with last year's earnings. If he fails to make that, he will lose full playing status.
Im not thinking about that, Im just happy to still be playing, Tryon said.
He earned his card through the 2001 Qualifying Tournament. That same year, he became the youngest player in 44 years to make a cut in a tour event after Monday qualifying at the Honda Classic. He also made the cut later that year in the B.C. Open, when he held a share of the first-round lead.
Tryon turned professional and promptly missed the cut in the Michelob Championship, the only event he played as a pro two years ago. Its been pretty much downhill since.
Part of his problem has been in his difficulty in maintaining focus on the course, particularly in the first round.
He started his year by making back-to-back double bogeys at the Sony Open. He then made three bogeys to begin the Phoenix Open. At Pebble, he played his final seven holes in 7-over for an opening 80. His first round at Tucson consisted of six birdies, three bogeys, one double bogey and a triple bogey. He made four birdies, three bogeys and a double in the first round at Honda. And he had four bogeys and three birdies this Thursday.
The 18-year-old said he is working on the mental aspect of the game, meeting regularly with a sports psychologist.
Its almost better for me being a little more conservative player, he said. I think I just kind of get those urges to go for it.
He showed a bit of maturity on the par-5 sixth in his second round. With 244 yards to the hole, and in good shape at 4-under par for the tournament, he decided to lay up instead of testing the waters and made par.
The thing is I missed my drive. I wanted to hit the biggest drive there, he said. I was aiming at the middle of the trees and trying to hit a draw and I just hit this low cut. I was like, you know what, I dont even deserve to go for this green.
But it took me away from a big number.
Following the conclusion of the second round, he looked forward to continuing, saying: I can do what I want to now.
Because the second round was suspended Friday night after a near five-hour rain delay, Tryon and 60 others had to complete their rounds Saturday morning before starting round three.
In the third round, he birdied two of his first three holes to temporarily tie for second place, at 6-under. He then melted in the intensifying heat. He made five bogeys and one birdie over his final 14 holes.
He shot 74 to finish tied for 28th at 2-under.
He rebounded with a 69 Sunday in an unrelenting rain. He made four birdies to just one bogey and collected his first career top-10 finish on tour. His eight-way tie for 10th earned him $93,375.
'I kind of just played within myself this week,' he said. 'I'm just maturing, I think. My game is getting better and I'm working real hard. It was a little rough when I came out and I've turned into a lot better player.'