BOISE, Idaho – Rookie Kevin Tway rolled in a six-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Spencer Levin and win the Albertsons Boise Open. Tway rallied late and posted a 7-under 64 at Hillcrest Country Club to force the overtime session with Levin, who was first in the clubhouse at 23-under after carding a 63.
The two players returned to the uphill, 395-yard 18th for the playoff, the third in four weeks on the Web.com Tour but the first in Boise since 2005.
Levin was making only his second start since hand surgery last fall and misfired on his 10-foot birdie effort. That opened the door for Tway to collect his first professional win of any kind.
“My hands were shaking a little bit,” he said. “It was on the same line I had in regulation and I just wanted to make sure I got it to the hole.”
The win was worth $139,500 and moved the former Oklahoma State All-American to No. 6 on the Tour money list with just four events left on the regular season schedule. His next stop will be the PGA TOUR in 2014.
“This means a lot because I’ve struggled since turning pro,” he said. “This really hasn’t sunk in yet. I’ve always wanted to play on the PGA TOUR since I was a little kid.”
Sunday’s finale turned out to be a shootout as the field came within an eyelash of setting a scoring record for the third consecutive day. The scoring average was 68.080 (par 71) and only five of the holes played above par for the week.
Leading money-winner Michael Putnam (63), Canada’s Bronson La’Cassie (65) and 54-hole leader Philip Pettitt (67) wound up at 22-under and tied for third.
Ben Martin (63), Hunter Haas (64), Matt Bettencourt (65), Jamie Lovemark (66), Jason Allred (66) and Will Wilcox (67) shared sixth place at 20-under 264.
Tway moved into contention with an 8-under 63 Saturday and was two shots off the 54-hole pace set by Tennessee’s Philip Pettitt (67/T3). He knew he’d be nervous for the final round so he called his father for some advice.
Papa Bob, who won eight times on the PGA TOUR including the 1986 PGA Championship, was in England at the Senior Open Championship.
“He said to take it just like any other day,” said the Tour’s fourth rookie winner in 2013. “He said to play like I was in 50th place and that I needed to move the leaderboard.”
Tway got close with some early birdies but it seemed everyone was making birdie runs and the leaderboard was lighting up like pinball machine.
“I really didn’t pay attention to the boards,” said Tway. “I looked at number 15 and saw someone was at 22-under. I knew I had to make some birdies coming in.”
Tway was 19-under and actually four back of Levin, who played the final 51 holes without a bogey.
The rookie put the petal down and rolled in a a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 15, a 30-foot eagle putt at No. 16 and another 10-footer for birdie on the par-3, 17th to tie Levin, who had finished 30 minutes ahead of him.
When Tway missed a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole, the stage was set for the fourth playoff in the tournament’s 24-history.