Golf

Tristan Wieland, 8, fires 27 for nine holes at Doral junior event

Yes, it sounds pretty ridiculous, but there’s an 8-year-old golfer, Tristan Wieland, challenging Rory McIlroy, the off-and-on world’s No. 1 golfer.

To put it in proper perspective, Wieland is actually challenging McIlroy’s record that was set when McIlory also was an 8-year-old and played in the Orange Bowl Doral-Publix Junior Classic 17 years ago.

On Friday, Wieland shot 27 for nine holes — from the moved-up junior tees — in his first of two days on the Red Tiger Course at Trump National Doral.

In 1998, McIlroy set that age-group record at Trump National Doral, shooting 28-26.

Later in life, McIlroy has described his Doral-Publix victory as “my first major.”

Young Tristan, all 4 1/2 feet and 75 pounds of him, is taking everything in stride and is oblivious to any pressure or expectations.

Being in awe of anything does not come natural to him.

At his size and age, his average drive is 150 yards. “A good one is 180,” he said with a smile.

Of the possibility of topping McIlroy’s record, Tristan said matter-of-factly, “That would be good.”

Actually, McIlroy doesn’t live that far away from the Wieland family in Jupiter.

That brought up the question of whether Tristan would go knocking on Rory’s door if he does achieve the record.

“Maybe,” he said, still very much unfazed.

Tristan had no trouble adding up his score Friday since he is in the gifted program at Beacon Cove Intermediate School and his favorite subject is math, which includes algebra and geometry.

He started playing golf when he was 14 months old and won his first tournament at age 3 1/2.

“Still have the trophy,” Wieland said of the victory that came in a four-hole tournament. That victory proved to his father, Allan, “… that he was competitive, even though it was only a four-hole tournament.”

OTHER LEADERS

Boys’ 12-13: Matthew Griggs, Texas, and Jude Kia, Plantation; Boys’ 10-11: Andres Atrio, Coral Gables; Boys’ 7-Under: Jessy Huebner.

Girls’ 12-13: Tiya Chowdary, New Jersey; Girls’ 10-11: Skylee Shin; Girls’ 8-9: Avery Zweig; Girls’ 7-Under: Sydney Neon, Leesburg.

Dixie Amateur

Clemson freshman Lauren Stephenson holds a two-stroke lead over Roos Haarman of the Netherlands heading into Saturday’s final round of the women’s Dixie Amateur at Eagle Trace Golf Club in Coral Springs.

Stephenson shot a 69 on Friday, making birdies on three of her final seven holes. Haarman shot 70.

The four-round Dixie Amateur men’s tournament tees off Saturday, with competition at Heron Bay.

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