The First Look: Safeway Open
September 20, 2019
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
Kevin Tway's winning highlights from the 2018 Safeway Open
Kevin Tway held off two proven PGA TOUR winners a year ago to notch his first career TOUR victory at the 2018 Safeway Open. In the process, he and his father, Bob Tway, became the eighth father-son duo to win on the PGA TOUR since 1900.
FIELD NOTES: Phil Mickelson is making his 2019-20 PGA TOUR season debut and will play alongside former NBA MVP Stephen Curry in Wednesday’s pro-am. This will be the fourth consecutive year that Mickelson has played the Safeway Open (he also played it in 2007); he has two top-10s and a top-20 in the last three starts. … 2017 FedExCup champion Justin Thomas also will make his 2019-20 debut, as are veterans Adam Scott and Francesco Molinari … Two-time winner Brendan Steele (2016-17) is returning once again. Steele finished T53 last season … Kevin Tway returns to defend… Recent Cal-Berkeley graduate and PGA TOUR winner Collin Morikawa is making his season debut. Morikawa played the Safeway Open in 2016 while he was a college sophomore … Fred Couples, who also played the Safeway Open in 2018, is playing his first non-major on the TOUR schedule since the Genesis Open. He has nine top-25 results in 10 starts on PGA TOUR Champions this year… Former NFL quarterback and CBS football analyst Tony Romo will be playing on a sponsor exemption. This will be Romo’s fourth TOUR start (he also played the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in 2018 and 2019 and the AT&T Byron Nelson in 2019). Romo also is scheduled to play the pro-am with Thomas … After making his professional debut at the Sanderson Farms Championship, 17-year-old Akshay Bhatia is teeing it up this week as well
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
COURSE: Silverado Resort & Spa (North), 7,166 yards, par 72. Despite wildfires that raged all around Silverado in 2017, the two golf courses were relatively unscathed. This is the fourth year the Safeway Open will be played at the North course at Silverado.
STORYLINES: Phil Mickelson returns to action in the PGA TOUR for the first time since the BMW Championship. Mickelson, who turns 50 in 2020, is playing his fourth Safeway Open. He’s finished T3-8-T17 in his previous three starts, and shot an opening 65 a year ago. He’s also hoping to chase after a Presidents Cup captain’s pick. Mickelson has been on every U.S. national team since 1994 … Justin Thomas announced on Twitter in mid-September he had a melanoma scare on his leg after visiting the dermatologist. This is his first TOUR event since that scare, and he returns to the Safeway Open for the first time since 2016 when he finished T8 … Five of the 12 Safeway Opens have ended in a playoff … Seven golfers who are participating in the Presidents Cup (Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, Scott, Marc Leishman, Abraham Ancer, and C.T. Pan) are in the field, the strongest in Safeway Open history.
72-HOLE RECORD: 262, Cameron Beckman (2008 at Grayhawk GC), Kevin Sutherland (2008 at Grayhawk GC), Troy Matteson (2009 at Grayhawk GC), Rickie Fowler (2009 at Grayhawk GC), Jamie Lovemark (2009 at Grayhawk GC). Silverado record: 270, Brendan Steele (2016).
18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Mark Hensby (2nd round, 2007 at Grayhawk GC), Kevin Stadler (2nd round, 2008 at Grayhawk GC), Troy Matteson (2rd & 3rd rounds, 2009 at Grayhawk GC), Mike Weir (4th round, 2009 at Grayhawk GC), Chesson Hadley (2nd round, 2017 at Silverado).
LAST TIME: Brandt Snedeker held the 54-hole lead but shot a 2-over 74 on Sunday – including making three straight bogeys after the turn in the final round – and ended up in a playoff with Ryan Moore and eventual winner Kevin Tway. Moore birdied three of his final four holes to get into the playoff. Tway birdied his final two holes to reach 14 under for the week. Tway and Moore made matching birdies on the 18th hole twice (Snedeker was eliminated after making a par on the first playoff hole) before the pair moved to the par-4 10th. Tway won after a birdie and would go on to finish 31st on the FedExCup.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. ET (Featured Groups)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 3 p.m.-9 p.m. ET. Saturday-Sunday, 4 p.m.-9 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio).