In case you took too long of a nap, you might have slept through the PGA Tour offseason. The 2018-19 season kicked off this week with the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif. What did you miss? Here’s what you need to know.
Who won: Kevin Tway (14 under, third playoff hole)
Why it matters: The 30-year-old Tway picked up his first career PGA Tour victory, and it came in his 91st career start. His best finish until this was third at the 2017 Zurich Classic, a team event. He’s also half of the latest father/son duo to win on Tour. His dad, Bob, had eight PGA Tour wins, including the 1986 PGA Championship.
How it happened: Brandt Snedeker opened the final round with a three-shot lead over Tway, but it didn’t last. After a one-under front nine on Sunday Snedeker made the turn four clear but made bogeys on 10, 11 and 12. Ryan Moore birdied three of the last four and signed for a 67 to take the clubhouse lead at 14 under. After a bogey on 17, Snedeker only managed par on 18 to tie Moore. Tway two-putted for birdie on the 18th to get in at 14 under and join the playoff. Snedeker failed to birdie the first playoff hole and was eliminated. Moore and Tway both birdied the 18th again and then, on the third playoff hole, the par-4 10th, Tway rolled in his birdie putt for a victory after Moore’s putt from off the green came up short.
Notables: Phil Mickelson was two off the lead after an opening-round 65, but he shot 74-72 on the weekend to finish eight under and T17. Patrick Cantlay also finished T17, and Fred Couples was five under and T41.
Best closing rounds: Moore and Luke List both shot five-under 67s to put the pressure on Snedeker. List made a 33-footer for eagle on the 18th to get in at 13 under and was the clubhouse leader for a few seconds until Moore, in the same group as him, rolled in his birdie putt to get to 14 under.
Best shot when it mattered: With Moore putting for eagle on the second playoff hole, Tway was in the rough and had to squeeze his approach under a tree. No problem, as he slashed a six-iron from 242 yards inside Moore’s ball and two-putted for birdie to keep the playoff alive before he won it on the next hole.
Worst shot(s) when it mattered: After birdieing the 16th to take the lead, Snedeker missed the fairway with an iron on the short par-4 17th and then tried to go over a tree with his second shot. He clipped the top of it and it led to a bogey that dropped him into a tie for the lead. He parred the 18th and then bowed out of the playoff after one hole.
Best closing shot by a 59-year-old pro golfer: Fred Couples knocked in a 21-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole to shoot 75. The Safeway was Couples’ 500th career PGA Tour cut made.
Up next: Update your internal clocks because the Tour heads to the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, which begins Thursday. Two-time champ Justin Thomas highlights the field, which also includes Hideki Matsuyama, Keegan Bradley, Paul Casey, Xander Schauffele, Davis Love III and Ernie Els.