PARAMUS, N.J. — Kevin Tway speaks every day to both his biggest fan and toughest critic. He conveniently does it all in one conversation, what with both roles being played by the same man, his father, Bob, a major champion and eight-time PGA Tour winner.
“He’s supportive. He wants the best for me but he’s very critical. He can tell what’s going through my mind just by watching the shot tracker,” Kevin, 30, said after he opened the FedEx Cup playoffs by shooting 5-under-par 66 in the first round of the Northern Trust. “He knows my swing probably better than anyone. So, we talk about it every day.”
The conversation figured to be a positive one Thursday night, after the younger Tway made six birdies at Ridgewood Country Club. “He will like that I hit 10 fairways,” Kevin said. “I remember him watching one round last week. I wasn’t hitting fairways and my mom said he was on the bed, cussing, like, 'Just hit the fairway, it’s not that hard.’ ”
Hitting fairways and doing everything else on a golf course came comparatively easy for Bob in 1986, when he led the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills midway through the final round (before finishing tied for eighth) and won the PGA Championship by sinking a bunker shot for birdie on the 72nd hole.
The younger Tway always has looked up to his dad and put himself in position last month to win the Canadian Open — the last PGA Tour event Bob ever won (2003). Kevin finished tied for 17th and still is seeking his first tour victory, as he seeks advice in getting it.
“I pick his brain a lot: What he felt in certain situations, how he went about winning golf tournaments,” the son said of the dad. “He played at the highest level for 30 years, so it’s a good tool to have.”
The hottest golfer on tour, at least for the past week, is out of the Northern Trust. Brandt Snedeker, who shot 59 on the way to a win at the Wyndham Championship last week, withdrew Thursday because of back spasms.