Ty Tryon, 17, performs beyond years in first Q-School test

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Ty Tryon might not have quieted all of his second-guessers Oct. 26 at World Woods Golf Club, but he took a bold first step.

Tryon, a 17-year-old Orlando, Fla., high school junior who received some criticism for turning professional after the U.S. Amateur in August, shot a 15-under-par 273 to be co-medalist with Paraguay’s Raul Fretes in the first stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School.

“I didn’t hit it good for a while today (Friday) but I played well all week,” Tryon said. “It’s hard out here, but it’s only as hard as you make it, I think.”

Entering the first stage, Tryon had played only two competitive rounds since turning pro, shooting 76-72 to miss the cut at the PGA Tour’s Michelob Championship Oct. 4-5.

But he started quickly on the Rolling Oaks Course. Tryon shot a first-round 67, then backed it up with rounds of 70-66-70.

Tryon will move on to the second stage of Q-School Nov. 13-16 at Orange County National Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. It’s only a few miles from his home, and he knows the place well.

“That’s big,” he said. “Now I can stay at my house, and I play there all the time.”

Tryon emerged onto the national scene in March when he shot 10 under par at the Honda Classic, becoming the youngest player since 1957 to make a cut on the PGA Tour.

He also made the cut at the PGA Tour’s B.C. Open in July, where he shared the first-round lead after shooting 65.

Tryon said if he secures his PGA Tour card for 2002 he will play only part time as he finishes his high school education.

“Two more stages,” Tryon said. “I’ll take it one round at a time and see where it goes. I’m not putting any pressure on myself.”

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