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Ty Tryon returns to PGA Tour

Ty Tryon's return to the PGA Tour will take place in the same general locale where it abruptly ended -- in Florida.

Ending a six-month layoff from the big tour, Tryon, 18, Wednesday committed to play in next week's Tampa Bay Classic at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor.

Because of a lingering bout with mononucleosis and tonsillitis, Tryon hasn't played on the big tour since March's Bay Hill Invitational. In a competitive tune-up, marking his first action in 24 weeks, he missed the cut last week in Salt Lake City at the Utah Classic.

He shot 79 in the opening round in some horrid weather but closed with a 4-under-par 68 that included an eagle and five birdies.

He played his final 20 holes at 6 under.

"All in all, it was a good week," said Jay Danzi, Tryon's agent. "It was a chance to shake the rust off, to get back inside the ropes."

Coincidentally, Tryon had planned to make his pro debut in Tampa last year, but the event was canceled in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This time around, he's mounting a comeback of sorts. After months of limited activity, he has been working hard in the gym and on the range for the past few weeks, trying to regain lost strength and sharpness.

"He's starting to get back into it," Danzi said. "It'll take time to get back to full strength, so to speak."

Tryon, the youngest player ever to hold a PGA Tour card, didn't make the cut in four events in the spring before becoming ill. The tour has granted Tryon a major medical extension, allowing him time to make up his missed tournaments. He also gets to skip the fall's Qualifying School.

He has been cleared to play in 23 more events over the rest of 2002 and into '03, greatly increasing his chances of retaining his tour privileges next year.

U.S. Ryder Cup members Stewart Cink and Hal Sutton also have committed to play at Tampa. Orlando-area players in the field include Lee Janzen, Fulton Allem, Paul Gow, Skip Kendall and Robert Gamez.

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