BOISE, Idaho – Rookie Kevin Tway rolled in a six-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Spencer Levin and win the Albertsons Boise Open. Tway rallied late and posted a 7-under 64 at Hillcrest Country Club to force the overtime session with Levin, who was first in the clubhouse at 23-under after carding a 63.
The two players returned to the uphill, 395-yard 18th for the playoff, the third in four weeks on the Web.com Tour but the first in Boise since 2005.
Levin was making only his second start since hand surgery last fall and misfired on his 10-foot birdie effort. That opened the door for Tway to collect his first professional win of any kind.
“My hands were shaking a little bit,” he said. “It was on the same line I had in regulation and I just wanted to make sure I got it to the hole.”
The win was worth $139,500 and moved the former Oklahoma State All-American to No. 6 on the Tour money list with just four events left on the regular season schedule. His next stop will be the PGA TOUR in 2014.
“This means a lot because I’ve struggled since turning pro,” he said. “This really hasn’t sunk in yet. I’ve always wanted to play on the PGA TOUR since I was a little kid.”
Sunday’s finale turned out to be a shootout as the field came within an eyelash of setting a scoring record for the third consecutive day. The scoring average was 68.080 (par 71) and only five of the holes played above par for the week.
Leading money-winner Michael Putnam (63), Canada’s Bronson La’Cassie (65) and 54-hole leader Philip Pettitt (67) wound up at 22-under and tied for third.
Ben Martin (63), Hunter Haas (64), Matt Bettencourt (65), Jamie Lovemark (66), Jason Allred (66) and Will Wilcox (67) shared sixth place at 20-under 264.
Tway moved into contention with an 8-under 63 Saturday and was two shots off the 54-hole pace set by Tennessee’s Philip Pettitt (67/T3). He knew he’d be nervous for the final round so he called his father for some advice.
Papa Bob, who won eight times on the PGA TOUR including the 1986 PGA Championship, was in England at the Senior Open Championship.
“He said to take it just like any other day,” said the Tour’s fourth rookie winner in 2013. “He said to play like I was in 50th place and that I needed to move the leaderboard.”
Tway got close with some early birdies but it seemed everyone was making birdie runs and the leaderboard was lighting up like pinball machine.
“I really didn’t pay attention to the boards,” said Tway. “I looked at number 15 and saw someone was at 22-under. I knew I had to make some birdies coming in.”
Tway was 19-under and actually four back of Levin, who played the final 51 holes without a bogey.
The rookie put the petal down and rolled in a a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 15, a 30-foot eagle putt at No. 16 and another 10-footer for birdie on the par-3, 17th to tie Levin, who had finished 30 minutes ahead of him.
When Tway missed a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole, the stage was set for the fourth playoff in the tournament’s 24-history.
-- Weather – Mostly sunny. High of 90. Wind – calm before 2pm then NW 5-10 mph.
-- Sunday’s playoff was the third in the past four weeks on the Web.com Tour.
-- Sunday’s playoff was the fourth in tournament history and the first since 2005 when Greg Chalmers defeated Danny Ellis.
-- Sunday’s scoring average was 68.080.
-- Earned his first career win in his 17th career start on the Web.com Tour and his 11th this year.
-- Collected a check for $139,500 and moved from No. 39 to No. 6 on the money list.
-- Became the ninth first-time winner in 17 events on Tour this year.
-- Joined Patrick Cantlay, Benjamin Alvarado and Chesson Hadley as rookie winners on Tour in 2013.
-- Matched Luke Guthrie’s tournament record of 15-under 127 for the final 36 holes (63-64).
-- Joined Spencer Levin in breaking the tournament’s 72-hole scoring record of 22-under 262, set by Luke Guthrie in 2012.
-- Has now made the cut in 9 of his 11 starts this year. His other top-10 finishes include a solo fourth at the Brasil Classic presented by HSBC and a T9 at the United Leasing Championship presented by PTI.
-- Was making only his second start of the 2013 season after undergoing surgery on his left thumb last winter. He missed the cut at last week’s Midwest Classic in Kansas City.
-- Was playing this week on a medical rehab start and will return to the PGA TOUR in October for the start of the 2013-14 season.
-- Made only one bogey for the week – No. 3 in Friday’s second round – and played the final 51 holes bogey-free.
-- Picked up the runner-up check worth $83,700 and stands No. 42 on the money list.
-- Hunter Haas closed with a flourish Sunday to finish at 20-under par and T6. Haas birdied No. 15 and then an eagle-3 at the par-5, 16th and backed that up with an ace at the 144-yard, 17th.
-- Michael Putnam (T3) has now made the cut in all six of his starts in Boise and has three top-10 finishes. He was also T6 in 2008 and T2 last year.
-- Putnam’s T3 this week was his 8th top-10 finish in 16 starts. He remains No. 1 on the money list and increased his lead over No. 2 Edward Loar to $130,213 with only four tournaments left before the Web.com Tour playoffs.
-- Third-round leader Philip Pettitt (T3) picked up a check for $40,300 and moved from No. 83 to No. 47 on the money list.
-- Course statistics for the week:
Front (36) Back (35) Total (71)
R1 35.192 33.833 69.026
R2 34.619 33.510 68.129
R3 34.867 33.200 68.067
R4 34.707 33.373 68.080
Total 34.868 33.547 68.414
-- The Web.com Tour will head east to suburban Pittsburgh for next week’s stop – the Mylan Classic at Southpointe Golf Club in Canonsburg, Pa., Aug. 1-4.