Many a young “starving” actor or actress heads to “Hollywood” hoping to realize the dream of making it on the small or big screen someday. And life on the PGA Tour mirrors that, every Monday with qualifying for that week’s event.
That’s right, each week, at an appointed local course, a large group of players will battle for 18 (sometimes more in sudden death) holes for one, and only one, spot in the field come Thursday.
Monday was no different in Southern California, as 95 golfers teed it up at Industry Hills Golf Club, hoping to be “the one,” who would emerge and get in this week’s Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club.
Our Jay Betsill already wrote about the fantastic field this week in L.A. comprised of multi-time winners, major champions and Hall of Famers. Well, those guys have earned their status and know they are “in.” The guys at Industry Hills? Battling for their livelihood in one round is a whole different world.
In the end Kevin Tway, son of former PGA Champion Bob Tway, had the magic number -7 (65) to earn the spot in the field on Tour this week. And, some of the details for the younger Tway and others that were there Monday, are fascinating.
For example, Tway, a former U.S. Junior Amateur Champion himself, had already played in both the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January (seen above), made the cut and also, made $22,000. He also played and made the cut at Pebble last week finishing T-48 and making another $17,000. But because he doesn’t have full status for 2017 on the PGA Tour, if Kevin wanted to play Riviera, he had to out play everyone else Monday…and he did.
[graphiq id=”kjtJHhhzkEd” title=”Kevin Tway 2017 PGA Tour Earnings and Positions” width=”800″ height=”565″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/kjtJHhhzkEd” ]
Further intriguing was who else was there with Tway vying for the lone spot: former two time PGA Tour winner, D.A. Points, who also played the AT&T last week as its 2011 champion, was there yesterday trying get in the Genesis Open. He shot 69 and missed by four.
Also, Stuart Appleby, who has 17 world wide wins, including nine on the PGA Tour, doesn’t have his Tour card for this year and was there trying to Monday qualify. You may remember that Appleby famously shot a final round 59 to win the Greenbrier Classic in 2010 making a dramatic putt for the eventual tourney win on the 18th. Well, Monday, he battled out there, too and like Points, played pretty well. But, in the end, his 69 got him nothing for this week.
Then, there’s former Riviera champion and Masters winner, Mike Weir. The Canadian left hander has battled arm and shoulder problems now for years, and even though he’s won eight previous times (including Augusta) on Tour, there he was at the Monday qualifier. Alas, a 72 Monday lost to Tway by seven shots. Thanks for trying.
Then, there was the curious attempt to qualify by Mac O’Grady. O’Grady was quite the character in the 70’s and 80’s on Tour with his wild clothes, and at times outlandish behavior and statements. Plus, you had the fact that he would hit tee and fairway shots right handed, while putting left handed. O’Grady had two previous PGA Tour wins and has been an instructor for years. Here’s a photo from nine years ago of him playing in a Champions Tour event:
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) February 13, 2017
And like Points, Appleby, and Weir, there would be no “Tinsel Town” ending for his Monday, either. 80 for the 66 year old O’Grady means he’s just a footnote, too.
So, come Sunday, there will hopefully be some dramatic moments at Riviera, big time shots and maybe, even a clutch putt to win it all.
But, once again next Monday in Southeast Florida, 80-90 guys will re-load to chase their professional dream, again, in their own world of one round drama and try to Monday qualify for the next Tour event, the Honda Classic.