Tringale carving out own niche on tour

He shares a house in Jupiter, Fla., with Rickie Fowler, but Cameron Tringale is quickly making his own name for himself on the PGA Tour.

Tringale, pronounced trin-GAH-lee, shot a sparkling 6-under 66 Saturday on Torrey Pines South to climb into a tie for sixth, seven shots behind runaway leader Kyle Stanley at the Farmers Insurance Open. Tringale’s round-saver was an 8-foot putt for par at the par-4 12th hole, ranked as the toughest on the South all week.

“That was big,” said Tringale, who grew up in Laguna Niguel and attended Mission Viejo High before getting a scholarship to Georgia Tech. “You try to talk yourself into not saying this is the putt that will make a difference, but looking back that was a big momentum saver and that kept me on track.”

Tringale, 24, a third-year pro, shot the second-best round of the day, one behind Jonas Blixt’s 65. Both players wore their college colors or logo so Blixt earned $20,000 for Florida State’s golf team, and Tringale won $10,000 for the Yellow Jackets.

Tringale tied for 30th at the Humana Classic last week after missing the cut at the Sony in Hawaii. His best finish is a tie for fourth at the Greenbrier Classic last year, when he had four top-10s in 32 starts and earned $1,327,807 in his sophomore season on tour. With just five golfers ahead of him, he has a chance to earn a hefty check in the Farmers if he matches his Saturday round.

Tringale’s stepfather, Harry Mullin, and Tringale’s older brother, Jon, were in the Torrey Pines gallery on Saturday.

“He’s gotten better every year he’s played golf,” Mullin said. “He wasn’t a star early, but he’s just improved every year.”

Tringale’s brother remembers being able to beat him when they were younger, but that ended quickly.

“I’d beat him when we were just playing, but we’d get in a tournament, and he’d beat my by 10,” Jon Tringale said.

Jon, 26, noticed a big difference in his younger brother’s play on Saturday. His putting was much better.

Cameron agreed. He missed the cut at Torrey Pines in 2010 and last year he tied for 73rd here after a dismal 78 on Sunday. He needed 33 putts on Friday for an even-par 72 on the South and then spent time Friday afternoon working on the flatstick. He only needed 24 rolls Saturday on the South greens. That was the second-best total in the field and he led the field with 12 one-putts.

“I thought I played well here every year, except for the greens,” he said. “I was able to hole a few putts today and that was the difference.”

He and Fowler met as junior golfers growing up in Southern California. They were teammates on the Walker Cup team when Tringale sank the winning putt to win the 2009 Walker Cup. The house they share is Fowler’s.

“Of course I charge him rent, have to charge him something,” Fowler said. “He’s definitely a great guy and a fun guy to be around. Our relationship has grown over the last few years since we played Walker Cup.”

Tringale marvels at the attention Fowler draws from media and golf fans and says he’s learned a lot from being around the charismatic young pro.

“He’s one of those guys who has the ‘IT’ factor when it comes to attracting fans, and for good reason,” Tringale said. “He’s great. He’s funny. He’s a little goofy. We all are. He’s a great roommate, a great influence and it’s always great to be friends with someone who has done so much in their career in such a short time. I’m trying to learn as much as I can from him.”

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