Update: Tryon qualified for third stage with a final round 71 on Saturday. He finished tied for 13th, good enough to be in the top-19.
You know the old cliche, "too good to be true"? That was Ty Tryon in 2001. A 16-year-old kid that had game exceeding even Tiger Woods at that age, Tryon was an exception to the professional golfer's rule.
He was Matteo Manassero before Manassero was barely out of grade school. If you forgot, Tryon finished 39th at the Honda Classic, and 37th at the B.C. Open where he opened with a 65 to take the lead outright after the first day. He stormed through all three stages of PGA Tour Qualifying School in December, earning full status for 2002. But that was where the glass slipper stopped.
Tryon made one cut in '02 after battling mononucleosis all season, and a medical exemption for '03 had him in just four of 21 weekends.
That story was over, but everyone that had seen his talent knew he could one day bounce back. He has, and it's back where it all started. Tryon is a good round away from making it out of the second stage of Q-School, into the illustrious third stage which means he will get some status on either the Nationwide or PGA Tour.
He sits tied for 12th at the Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville, Florida, needing to stay in the top-19 to make it another stage. He has played solid golf all week, making just five bogeys as the nerves set in, and will need probably another even par round like he shot on Friday to keep the dream alive.
But it's more about Tryon making it another day. It's about the battle that we see golfers face daily. A kid that was once signing multi-million dollar deals with Callaway and Target is now back grinding it out for a chance to be known again, this time as a man.
He's married. He's more mature. He has facial hair. But the golf swing is still great and his game still solid. If Tryon could make it back on tour, who knows where he'd end up.