Edwardsville's Tyrell starts golf season off strong
Edwardsville junior Ben Tyrell has celebrated a hot start to the golfing year so far.
Tyrell began the year shooting a 66 at the Alton Teeoff Classic at Spencer T. Olin, which was an incredible six shots better than second place. He then rolled that into shooting four strokes better than second place at the Madison County Tournament at Belk Park, winning the competition with a 67.
Even at the one tournament he didn't win so far this season, the Quincy Invitational at Westview, Tyrell still managed to show off his skill, battling wind and rainy conditions to shoot a 77, which was second best on the Edwardsville squad.
Tyrell has been on the golf team since his freshman year, so it's been a pleasure for the coaching staff to watch him develop into the successful player he is today. His prior two years of experience on the team have allowed him to blossom into a more mature and seasoned player.
"He's just matured all around as a player," Edwardsville Head Coach Adam Tyler said. "He's matured physically. He's hitting the ball longer, and he's hitting the ball off the tee further. He's also matured mentally. He's focusing more on his short game and doing a good job of controlling all of his emotions, staying in the moment and not getting too far ahead of himself. He's really improved his game all around to have different shots that he can draw from. He's been working on attacking different pins and different holes from different angles, and he's really done a good job of doing that."
After finishing 12th in the state tournament last year and garnering all-state recognition, Tyrell managed to improve his game even further by working hard in the off-season. He played golf all summer, and Tyler credits this extra time on the links with spurring on his strong start to the season.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he plays a very difficult summer schedule," Tyler said. "He actually goes all over the country playing in golf tournaments, playing in American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Tournaments, and I think that's really helped him out a lot. His game all around has just been improving."
Despite such a good beginning to the season, Tyler thinks Tyrell can improve even further.
"With the way he's grown these last two years, I just want to see him continue to grow and to just do what he's doing," Tyler said. "He's really matured as an individual -- emotionally, mentally, physically. Everything he does is what it takes to be a good player, and I want to continue to see him do the things that he's doing now."
Tyler cautions against placing predictions or heavy expectations on any of his players, but is also quick to point out that Tyrell likely puts the heaviest expectations on himself -- and that's part of what's driving him to be great.
"I hate trying to predict where a kid might finish at because I think that can put too much pressure on a kid and put too much pressure on the team, so I do my best not to predict any of that," Tyler said. "But I know that he's hard on himself. I think that his goals and expectations are high for the season. So what we just try to do is take one day at at time. He expects himself to do well and has high expectation of himself, which is why you've seen him play the way he has so far this year."
In addition to being successful on the golf course, Tyrell is also successful in the classroom -- a combination that could give him the opportunity to continue playing golf past his senior season and into college. Regardless of what happens, one thing is for certain: Tyler will remain one of Tyrell's biggest fans.
"He's one of those kids you can root for and you just want to see do well," Tyler said. "He's an all-around good kid and a good student."