Ty Tryon struggled mightily in his 2002 PGA Tour debut, shooting a 6-over-par 77 in the first round of the Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Ariz.
'I'm glad it's over,' he said.
The 17-year-old high school junior started on the 10th hole Thursday at the TPC at Scottsdale and proceeded to record five bogeys and one double bogey to make the turn in 7-over 43.
Playing with a massive following of patrons and media in tow, Tryon settled down following another dropped shot at the par-5 third. He birdied the par-3 fourth, and ended a miserable scoring day with a birdie on the par-4 ninth.
It was a tough day ' wind, cold, nerves, said Tryon, who bogeyed all three of the par-5s. I hung in there on the back nine ' looking forward to tomorrow.
It was a difficult day for all involved. Tee times were delayed for 15 minutes due to frost, and the temperature was barely 40 degrees when play began.
When the weather warmed, Steve Flesch announced himself as the first-round leader, thanks to a bogey-free 7-under-par 64. Flesch has notched 27 career top-10 finishes over the past four years without a win.
'We were fortunate,' Flesch said of his tee time. 'We got the good end of the draw. Obviously, I'm sitting in a good spot.'
The left-hander had a tremendous 2000 season, earning over $2 million. However, last year was a bit of a disappointment when he fell from 13th to 44th on the money list.
Duffy Waldorf, who was in contention early last week at the Bob Hope, is one back after a 65. Vijay Singh, Scottsdale resident Tom Lehman, Matt Kuchar and Skip Kendall all shot 66s.
Mark Calcavecchia, who set a 72-hole tour scoring record in winning this event a year ago, opened in 68, as did John Daly and Chris DiMarco. Last week's winner, Phil Mickelson, double-bogeyed his final hole to shoot 1-over 72.
This is Tryon's second tournament as a pro. He missed the cut in last year's Michelob Championship. He made the cut in both his starts as an amateur, finishing tied for 39th at the Honda Classic and tied for 37th at the B.C. Open.
Thursday he got off to a horrible start, bogeying his first two holes. He hit his tee shot on the par-5 13th in the water, and didn't find a fairway until his eighth hole of the day.
'The fairways looked the size of a street,' he said. 'The first nine, I just wasn't myself.
'Once I made the turn, I was just like, you know, 'Play as well as you can, forget about it.' Can't do much worse.'
Though he hit another ball into the drink at the third, Tryon showed the form that got him through all three stages of Q-School by playing his final six holes in 2-under.
Tryon will be in the final threesome Friday, a tough tee time due to the increasing winds and bumpy greens. Its highly unlikely that he will make the cut. He said he next plans to play when the tour reaches his home state of Florida.
Tryon has accepted sponsors invitations ' he gets seven before he turns 18 June 2 ' to play in the Genuity Championship at Doral, the Honda Classic (where he made his debut as an amateur a year ago), and the Bay Hill Invitational in his hometown of Orlando.
Full-field scores from the Phoenix Open