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Tale of two golfers: Tiger’s new competition and Martin’s continuing battle

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

So begins Charles Dickens’ timeless classic, “A Tale of Two Cities.” It’s also a fitting description of Ty Tryon and Casey Martin, two golfers whose careers are seemingly headed in opposite directions.

First, there’s Tryon, the 17-year-old golf whiz who just became the youngest player ever to earn a PGA Tour card. Tryon fired a final round 66 at qualifying school in West Palm Beach, Fla., to finish in the top 35 and secure a place among the world’s greatest golfers.

The only problem for Tryon, a junior at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, is that he can’t officially play on the tour until he’s 18, thanks to a new policy the PGA adopted in September. That means Tryon will have to wait until June before he will appear on the tour’s money list.

Until then, he can use sponsor’s exemptions to play in seven tournaments. And speaking of sponsors, the 17-year-old has already earned enough endorsement money to keep food on the table for a while. Deals with Callaway Golf and Target are reportedly worth about $1 million a year.

Not a bad showing for a teenager. Makes you wonder if Tryon will be the one to challenge Tiger Woods’ supremacy on the links in a few years.

A little further from golf nirvana is Martin, who has seen better days. The Dec. 10 edition of “ESPN The Magazine” chronicles Martin’s struggles with Klippel-Trenaunays syndrome, a painful condition in which the veins in his right leg are twisted abnormally.

Read more of Tim Ellsworth’s column at BPSports, www.bpsports.net.

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