Napa – Kevin Tway birdied his last five holes, three in a playoff, to win his first PGA Tour title on Sunday at the Safeway Open, where Brandt Snedeker squandered a five-shot lead in the final round.
Tway rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt at the third hole of sudden death to win the first event of the US tour’s 2018/19 season over Ryan Moore at Silverado Resort in Napa, California.
Snedeker, who started the day with a three-shot lead and led by five with 11 remaining in regulation, fell by the wayside with a par at the first playoff hole.
Moore matched Tway’s birdies at the first and second playoff holes, before succumbing at the third – the par-four 10th.
“I’m kind of at a loss for words,” said Tway, the 30-year-old son of 1986 PGA Championship winner Bob Tway.
“I think I birdied my last five holes – that always helps.”
He had birdied 17 and 18 in regulation to complete a one-under par 71 at Silverado Resort in Napa, California, finishing tied with Moore and Snedeker on 14-under par 274.
Snedeker started the day with a three-shot lead and stretched the advantage to five after birdies at the fifth and seventh before slumping with four bogeys on the back nine.
That included three in a row at 10, 11 and 12, and that was enough to see his lead evaporate as Moore birdied 15, 16 and 18 to reach 14-under with a five-under par final-round of 67.
“I was just able to put together a round of golf,” said Moore, who had six birdies and just one bogey.
“On a day like today it’s not about necessarily how you’re swinging, it’s about how you just get the ball in the hole and somehow I managed to do that.”
Snedeker briefly regained a one-shot lead with a birdie at the par-five 16th, where he rolled in a 10-foot putt.
But he immediately gave the shot back at the 17th, where he was far left off the tee and in the pine straw under a tree. He found a bunker at the par-five 18th and settled for a par and a two-over 74.
“Really disappointing,” Snedeker said.
“I played a really good front nine in tough conditions, made the turn and actually drove the ball really well, just hit some really, really poor iron shots.”
Snedeker said he’d remember the event as one he “gave away”.
“It’s done, and I didn’t do it,” he said. “It sucks right now, but I’m playing next week.”
The top trio finished a stroke in front of a group of five players on 275.
Luke List jumped into that bunch with an eagle at 18 to cap his 67. Troy Merritt carded a 68, Sam Ryder and Australian Aaron Baddeley fired 69s and Web.com Tour graduate Im Sung-jae of South Korea posted a 71 to complete the group at 13-under.
Leading scores from the final round of the PGA Tour Safeway Open in Napa, California, on Sunday (x-won at third playoff hole, USA unless stated):
274 – x-Kevin Tway 68-67-68-71, Ryan Moore 67-67-73-67, Brandt Snedeker 66-65-69-74
275 – Luke List 70-69-69-67, Troy Merritt 67-70-70-68, Sam Ryder 69-70-67-69, Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 70-67-69-69, Im Sung-jae (KOR) 66-69-69-71
277 – J.B. Holmes 70-70-69-68
278 – Danny Lee (NZL) 69-68-72-69, Jim Knous 73-67-69-69, Chase Wright 64-72-70-72, Bill Haas 70-68-67-73
279 – Julin Etulain (ARG) 68-69-72-70, Adam Schenk 67-69-70-73, Harold Varner 70-69-68-72,
280 – Michael Thompson 69-65-75-71, Patrick Cantlay 69-68-73-70, Tom Hoge 71-70-69-70, Phil Mickelson 65-69-74-72, Hunter Mahan 70-68-70-72, Cameron Davis (AUS) 70-70-72-68, Lucas Glover 69-70-69-72, Nate Lashley 68-69-70-73