Tyler McCumber ready to make his own memories at The Players

He grew up playing at TPC Sawgrass and his dad won the event in 1988

Tyler McCumber plays his shot from the fifth tee during the third round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 20, 2021 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) (Sean M. Haffey, 2021 Getty Images)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tyler McCumber has more memories at TPC Sawgrass than he can count.

But McCumber wanted his next memory to be of him actually competing in The Players Championship.

So, four years ago, McCumber made somewhat of a deal with himself.

The next time he was attending The Players, it would be as a competitor in the 154-golfer field.

That time has arrived.

The Nease High and University of Florida graduate is in for the first time and will make his Players debut this week, finishing off a promise to himself. McCumber is currently 57th in the FedEx Cup standings after earning his PGA Tour card on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019. Making the field at The Players is a major accomplishment for McCumber.

“I said that about four years ago, just as a little self-motivation, and now I’m back,” McCumber said. “So, I was anxious to get back out and see the tournament, and now I’m playing.”

Even though home is now Colorado, McCumber is finally back home here.

McCumber played at Nease during a golden era of high school golf in St. Johns County. McCumber and Nease won the Class 2A state championship in 2007. Bartram Trail’s Julian Suri, also a current professional golfer, won back-to-back individual state championships during that time.

With the McCumber last name, it was always bound to be golf for Tyler.

His father, Mark, won the Players Championship in 1988, finishing 15-under for a four-shot victory over Mike Reid.

Tyler has only seen video clips of that win. It came three years before he was born.

But he remembers being in the crowd in 2005 and watching another local golfer, former Ponte Vedra Beach resident, Fred Funk, fire up the masses at TPC Sawgrass.

Seeing Funk flourish on his home course was something that McCumber said left a lasting impression on him. He knows the prestige to have had a father who has won this event. And being in the gallery when Funk won, McCumber knows the pride that locals feel when a hometown golfer succeeds.

“Obviously, having had a father who’s won here, there’s a lot of pride when you’re from here to do well, to perform well,” McCumber said. “And I thought that was pretty cool to watch I believe that was ’05, 2005, so I would have been in high school and kind of really just getting into golf. So, that definitely got me stoked on the game.”

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.