Tway earns first TOUR win at Safeway Open
October 07, 2018
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Tway wins in playoff at Safeway
NAPA, Calif. – Notes and observations from Sunday’s wild and windy final round of the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort & Spa.
TWAY GETS 1ST WIN. Kevin Tway warmed up with his hat on backward. “It was blowing about 40,” he said of the blustery conditions facing the final threesome. He hung tough, though, and made five straight birdies, including three in a sudden-death playoff against Ryan Moore and Brandt Snedeker, to pick up his first PGA TOUR win at age 30.
Tway and his father, eight-time TOUR winner Bob, become the 10th father-son duo to win on TOUR.
Snedeker had a four-shot lead at the turn but shot a back-nine 39 to lead to the playoff.
How tough were the conditions? Brandon Harkins shot 83, and 13 players hit wind-aided drives of 400-plus yards. Tway, who spoke of his struggles to stay patient, did exactly that.
Kevin Tway's interview after winning Safeway
SNEDEKER STUNNED. Brandt Snedeker said he wanted wind, and he got it, but the leader suddenly came down with a left miss and bogeyed three straight holes to start the back nine. He halted the skid with pars on 13-15, seemed to steady himself with a birdie on 16, but bogeyed from the trees on 17 and failed to birdie 18 to fall into the three-man playoff. “I’m going to look at that one in a few years and know I gave that one away,” said Snedeker, who had a three-shot lead as he made the turn but lost it all. The problem: he kept pulling his irons left. “It’s an old tendency when the pressure seems to get on,” he said.
MICKELSON ENTERTAINS. Phil Mickelson never stopped fighting, delivering three closing birdies for a memorable even-par 72 in the difficult conditions. Playing for the eighth time in 10 weeks, a mistake he said he won’t be repeating, Mickelson made five birdies to make up for a triple-bogey 8 at the 5th hole, an adventure that included two penalty shots, and hitting just 5/14 fairways. He finished T17. “Actually, I played pretty good,” he said. “I hit two balls out of bounds on that 5th hole trying to go for the green, and other than that I played pretty well.”
COUPLES STRUGGLES. It was a week in which he turned 59 and made his 500th cut on the PGA TOUR, but sponsor’s exemption Fred Couples struggled in the heavy wind with a final-round 75 to fall down the leaderboard. The bright side: After making bogeys on five of the first six holes, Couples stabilized with three birdies and just one more birdie the rest of the way. He finished T41. “For a while I didn’t think we were going to play,” Couples said of the strong winds. “And then we played and I didn’t really play.” Still, he said the week was so much fun he’s ready to come back again, perhaps as early as next year, if he’s healthy. It was a change of tune for a player who came into the week saying this would be his last non-major TOUR start.
Phil Mickelson dials in 22-foot birdie putt at Safeway
MOORE SURPRISED. When he finished his round with a 9-foot birdie some 40 minutes in front of the final threesome, Ryan Moore thought he’d shot a nice final round for a nice top-10 finish. He was surprised to slip into a playoff, though, after third-round leader Brandt Snedeker faltered with a back-nine 39. “I was proud of how I played, hitting good shots in the moment,” said Moore, who birdied the first two playoff holes (both at the par-5 18th) before Tway ended it with a birdie at the third one, at the par-4 10th. “And honestly,” Moore continued, “even the putt on 18 the second go-round, a foot more pace and that was probably going to go in (for eagle).”
STEELE FLAT IN ‘3-PEAT’ BID. Brendan Steele was trying to become the first player since Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic (2009-’11) to win the same TOUR event three years in a row. It seemed possible, given Steele’s obvious affinity for Silverado, but while his week started well with an opening-round 67, he stalled (71-72-75) and never contended after that.
BADDELEY MAKES MOST OF START. Aaron Baddeley shot a final-round 69 to get to 13-under and finished a shot out of the playoff, in a five-way tie for fourth place. Not a bad result, considering he wasn’t even in the tournament until he Monday-qualified for it. The top-10 finish will get him an exemption into the Sanderson Farms Championship, Oct. 25-28. “My game’s been feeling good for a while,” said Baddeley, who reunited with caddie Pete Bender for the week in Napa. “I really felt like this was on the way, so I’ve been really working hard.”
QUOTABLESI’d love to come back.It was a nice (way) to start or end the year, however you look at it.Got to find a way to win those.
Low round: 67 by Luke List and Ryan Moore.
Longest drive: 428 yards (Patrick Rodgers/No. 13)
Longest putt: 64’ 1” (Adam Svensson/No. 6)
Toughest hole: The 150-yard, par-3 15th played to a 3.392 average.
Easiest hole: The 564-yard, par-5 16th played to a 4.284 average.
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Kevin Tway's clutch approach sets up birdie for Shot of the Day