COVID has caused many event cancellations such as the inaugural First Tee National Championship and participating in the High School State Championships for public school students. But there have also been many positives.
Chapter student Tyler Mistretta was invited to play in the TimberTech Pro-Am by tournament staff as they heard about the many opportunities he missed this year due to COVID. He played with PGA Champions Tour Professional Joe Durant. Tyler joined him to play from the tips and shot 69.
“It was my best ball striking round ever,” said Tyler. “Mr. Durant was awesome to play with and helped me with my game. I am extremely thankful to Mr. Hollis Cavner, Mr. Ken Kennerly and Mr. Eddie Carbone from Prolinks Sports for offering me this opportunity.”
A few weeks later Tyler signed his letter of intent to play college golf at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. It is an incredible achievement considering he was ranked 3,000 in the country in 2019 and improved his ranking to 500 in six months.
“Mr. Kennerly introduced me to Rocco Mediate and Lee Janzen at the TimberTech,” said Tyler. “Both are major champions and Florida Southern alumni. That was pretty special.”
Instead of competing in the FHSAA State Championship, the Palm Beach County School District conducted a County Championship at Wellington National (pictured left). Palm Beach Gardens High won the event by three shots over Boca Raton to advance to the Tri-County Championship with teams from Broward and Dade counties. PBG senior Jack Hasson lead the team with 73, while senior Tyler Mistretta and junior Aidan MacFarquhar each posted 75s. Junior Davis Dickinson shot 80 for the fourth team score to secure the championship.
With his first SFPGA win this summer at Doral, Tyler has been leading The Honda Classic SFPGA Player of the Year points race all summer. With 3 tournaments to go he held a ¼ point lead over Jonathon Mourin. James Hassell and Tyler Stachkunas were also in the hunt. At the Junior Tour Championship this weekend at Banyan Cay, Tyler shot 75 the first round with a cold putter to tie for 21st place. At the conclusion of the Saturday round, he was awarded the SFPGA Most Improved Player for lowering his stroke average this year by 5 shots to 71.5 (pictured below left). On Sunday, he played fantastic and Tyler shot 1-under 71 with a birdie on the eighteenth hole to tie for 8th and secure Player of the Year (pictured below right).
“There are so many people to thank- my parents, coaches, First Tee, Jack Nicklaus, the SFPGA, FSGA and AJGA, Seminole, The Honda Classic, TimberTech Championship, North Palm Beach Country Club, and more. I will have to sit down and make a list,” said Tyler. “My goal is to be able to give back one day as an adult and help other students the same way so many people helped me.”