Defending Boise Open champion seeks momentum in return

ccripe@idahostatesman.comJuly 17, 2014 

Kevin Tway's win last year in the Albertsons Boise Open sent him to the PGA Tour.

He hopes a return to the scene of his biggest success will create enough good vibes to help him keep his PGA Tour card this season.

Tway entered the 25th anniversary Boise Open, which runs Thursday through Sunday at Hillcrest Country Club, because the PGA Tour is off this week.

He is 174th in the FedExCup standings, which could force him to return to the Web.com Tour Finals in August and September to compete for a spot on the 2014-15 PGA Tour.

"I like the place and I had success here last year, so I thought I'd come and try to defend and maybe get a little confidence for the rest of the PGA Tour season," Tway said.

Comfort is key for Tway, who has made just seven of 20 cuts, with a tie for 26th at the Travelers Championship in June as his best result.

He also fired three 72s at the U.S. Open but stumbled with an 81 in the third round.

"I've done better at the courses I've played before," Tway said.

He is part of a loaded field at the $800,000 Boise Open. All of the Web.com Tour's top 25 money-winners - the ones currently holding the spots that provide promotions to the PGA Tour at the end of the regular season - are here.

Fifty-four of the 156 players have won on the Web.com Tour, and 16 have won on the PGA Tour.

"It's a big tournament, a great course," said Alex Cejka, who has 25 career top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour and is third on the Web.com Tour money list this year. "… It's tough, but every week is difficult out here. Everybody in the field can win. You have to play well to make the cut."

The same goes for the PGA Tour, where Tway has faced the common troubles of a rookie. He has struggled to adapt to more challenging courses, new surroundings and a bigger stage.

He has three tournaments left on his schedule and figures he needs a top-two finish or three strong weeks to crack the top 125 and secure his card for next year. Otherwise, he'll compete with about 125 guys for 25 PGA Tour cards during the four-event Web.com Tour Finals.

"I've got a lot of tournaments coming up," Tway said. "It would be nice to get some more confidence from here. … I kind of beat myself up too much. I expect to hit good shots, and when I hit a bad one I kind of dwell on them."

Tway went through a midseason stretch where he finished at least 4-over-par in four straight tournaments before the U.S. Open. But he has made the cut in three of his past four events and has carded two 65s in his past nine rounds.

"I didn't have a good weekend last week, which was disappointing," he said of his 72-71 finish at the John Deere Classic. "Other than that, I'm getting it going in the right direction."

He arrived in Boise on Tuesday night and played in the pro-am Wednesday morning, chatting with his caddie about some of the shots that led to his win last year.

This is his first appearance on the Web.com Tour this season.

"It's always nice to come back to where you had success and maybe draw on those memories and keep it going," Tway said.

The 25-year-old is the son of eight-time PGA Tour winner Bob Tway. His dad has told him to remain patient. Bob turned pro in 1981 and didn't become a regular on the PGA Tour until 1985. He won four times in 1986.

"We're kind of the same way - late bloomers," Kevin Tway said. "It takes us a while to get comfortable. It would be nice to have a second year like he had."

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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