TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Before all of the cancellations and closings due to the widespread COVID-19 disease, Marinette junior Ty Kretz competed in the Tampa Bay Junior Open held at Heritage Isles Golf & Country Club March 7-8 where he tied for 11th-place with four other golfers at 15-over-par.

“I struggled a little bit in my first tournament back but that’s usually how it goes when you aren’t able to play for awhile,” Kretz said. “But I’m glad I got a chance to play and I feel that I am ahead of my game for this upcoming season if we’re allowed to play.”

Kretz carded an opening-round 81 to place him tied for 13th with six others. He started on the back nine and after recording back-to-back pars on the first two holes, he struggled on the next four, playing them at six-over-par with two double-bogies and two bogies. The last three holes of the back nine Kretz went par-par-bogey to finish with a 7-over-par 43 on the back and turned his game around on the final nine holes.

He started off with a bogey before rattling off five straight pars and carding another bogey before finishing his round with two more pars for a 2-over 38 on the back.

On Day 2, Kretz began his day on hole No. 1, carding a double-bogey but bouncing back on the next two holes with a par and his lone birdie of the weekend to put him back at 1-over-par.

Kretz finished the next six holes at two-over-par to make the turn with a 3-over 39 heading to the back nine where he kept it rolling with three straight pars to start before back-to-back bogey’s halted his momentum and brought him to 5-over for his round. The next four holes he went par-par-bogey-par to finish Day 2 with a 6-over-par 78, putting him tied for 11th.

While he was in Florida, the COVID-19 outbreak was still in its earliest stages, so Kretz wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about until he returned back to Wisconsin.

“I was there when (COVID-19) was just getting started so it was kind of a weird time,” he said. “I thought everybody was overreacting but when I finally got back home I realized how serious it was.”

Kretz was set to play in another tournament coming up in the near future but it has now been cancelled due to the global pandemic.