Elk Lake’s Tyler 2nd at Jackman
BY MARTY MEYERS
There was no hint of what was coming.
A year ago as a freshman, Elk Lake’s Cole Tyler left the Irving Jackman Memorial Tournament with a score of 101.
On Friday, he left a stunning 30 shots better, the runner-up to Abington Heights’ Anthony Sebastianelli after a sparkling 1-under-par 71.
“I got in the car with my dad and we went out to eat and for about three hours I couldn’t really think straight,” Tyler said. “I couldn’t process what happened. Seventy-one is a good score, but I have to focus on what’s ahead, and that’s match play and helping my team get wins.”
A year ago, he left stunned and disappointed. He didn’t expect a great score, but couldn’t have imagined what befell him that day.
“I’ve been thinking about that forever, kicking myself for the whole year,” Tyler said. “It was a bad day, but I didn’t have a low 70s or low 80s number in my game. An 85 would have been a good number for me.”
At that moment, he was determined to be not only better, but to be a good player. But even he couldn’t have imagined his success.
“I wasn’t a great golfer last season, but this year with right focus and preparation, I think I could do something special.”
Friday’s round bears that out.
Tyler’s dad, Clint, has been an assistant golf coach since Cole was 8 years old, and dad almost always had his son with him at the course.
“My coaches and my teammates only want to see me do well, which is really encouraging.”
Over the last 12 months, every opportunity to play or to learn, he has. That included getting his own swing coach.
“Scotty McAlarney has been so instrumental in my process of becoming a better golfer,” Tyler said. “Whatever he tells me, I soak up. I had a hitch in my swing and he gave me a tip and that got rid of it. I’m out on the course five, six days a week, 18 holes, sometimes more, trying to get better.”
It’s not only been a physical process.
“I used to hit a bad shot and get completely down on it for holes and holes,” Tyler said. “Now, I’m upset I hit it but I keep moving forward.”
That attitude has carried him all the way to the top of the pack in the Lackawanna League.