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Ty Tryon tries his luck in Europe

American teenager Ty Tryon hopes to make up for lost time this week when he takes on a Tour Players' Championship of Europe field that includes his boyhood idol Tiger Woods.

The 18-year-old Tryon joined the U.S. PGA Tour last season aged 17 in his second year as a professional and should have played in the 2002 TPC at Heidelberg, but missed out because of illness.

The young American is now taking up his second chance in Germany as he is playing on a U.S. Tour medical extension this year, having missed five months of the 2002 season suffering from mononucleosis.

"I've never been to Germany and it's good to try something different," Tryon said on Wednesday. "I was invited here last year but, because I was ill, the invite was carried over.

"I am over 'mono' (mononucleosis) now and pretty fit, trying to get my game where I want it to be. I've played well a few times this year, but it's still inconsistent."

Tryon will play the first two rounds in Germany alongside two successful European Tour players in Britain's Ian Poulter, with three victories, and Germany's Tobias Dier, who has won twice.

The Orlando-based American currently lies a lowly 151st in this season's U.S. money list with earnings of $93,375, and is banking on a boost to his playing fortunes in Europe this week.

"I still have about 20 tournaments in the States this year," he said.

"Last year, I was 17 and trying to play against the pros when I got 'mono', and that affected my strength and my game. It can be caused by stress and doing too much."

Asked if he felt he should have gone to college instead of turning professional, Tryon replied: "I thought it would make me a better player and it definitely has.

"I think I've matured. I missed the cut at four or five under a few times and that's pretty strange -- shooting 67 and 71 and not making the cut. I didn't know it would be that hard.

"I suppose it's a strange thing in America not going to college.

"But I am more comfortable with travelling now and more ready for it this time around."


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