It was inspiring, therefore, to watch the former pride of the Leadbetter Academy bat it around the cliffs well enough to make the cut on the number. But it was poignant to watch him tee off alone at 9 on Saturday morning—alone because with an odd number of players having made the cut, he declined to play with a marker as the first player out. "I felt great, I really did," Tryon said after taking only three hours and 31 minutes to shoot a 78. "I just think I lost a little bit of, you know, my nerve. I think I had a four-putt, three three-putts. ..."
What was it the old pro had said about promise? The young lions always have to prove themselves ... and more often than not, they don't. "Wait for results," Watson said on Friday, having made the cut with the same number as Tryon. "Wait for results."
Some of those results were already in. McIlroy, the Irish phenom, shot 75--77 and missed the cut—a disappointment, considering his tie for 10th a year ago at Bethpage Black. What's more, the three worst two-round scores were shot by Generation Nexters (10% of whom, in a recent survey, said it was O.K. to text while having sex). Sunday's final round was an even bigger bummer for the cohort, with Ishikawa shooting 80 and falling to 33rd, former Oklahoma State star Pablo Martin shooting 83--79 for 82nd, and Ty Tryon, emeritus, trundling home in 80 for an underwhelming $12,293. And let's not forget the third-round leader. Johnson threw away his lead by going six over on his first four holes. A final-round 82 dropped Dustin to 289 and a tie for eighth, but he still tied for Low Youth and—fanfare!—the top 10 finish guaranteed him a spot in next year's U.S. Open. The other low youth, Kaymer, accepted his check for $177,534 with Germanic stoicism, saying, "Top 10 at the U.S. Open is O.K."
But if you were looking for the boyish grin, that jigger of joy, you had to be behind the 18th green when 21-year-old Russell Henley finished at 292, in 16th place, to share low amateur honors with Langley. A senior at Georgia, Henley had played to the crowd all day and he was still buzzed from their cheers. "I don't think anybody knows who I am," he said, looking nonplussed. "Just some kid from Macon."
Speaking of results, here's an interesting one. Only five of the 32 youngsters outscored old man Watson.
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