Yun, Tway, Barlow share first round lead at Western Am

Published 7:28 am Wednesday, August 5, 2009

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Oklahoma State’s Kevin Tway shot 4-under par 67 Tuesday in the opening round of the 107th Western Amateur to share the first-round lead with Illinois senior Zach Barlow and Andrew Yun, who’s headed to Stanford.

Barlow, who played in the afternoon, made a 20-foot birdie putt on his 11th hole of the day (the par 3 2nd) and rolled in a 50-foot bomb on the next to get to 5-under par.  A bogey on No. 5 (his 14th hole of the day) left him tied for the lead.

“I did everything pretty well today,” said Barlow, who will defend his Illinois State Amateur title later this month. “”If you’re not in the fairway and on the greens, you’re going to make big numbers because of the undulations on these greens.”

Starting on the back nine, Tway, who turned 21 last week, bogeyed two of his first three holes (Nos. 11 and 12) but quickly rebounded with birdies on Nos. 15, 17, and 18 to make the turn at 1-under 35. He made two birdies and a bogey on his second nine, but his most important shot of the day was an eagle 2 on the par 4 7th.

“I hit a 95-yard gap wedge,” said Tway, son of long time PGA Tour pro Bob Tway. “It was the high point of the day.”

Yun’s bogey-free round started on the front nine and made his move with three birdies on the back nine, including one on the par 5 18th hole.

Coming off a minor injury that sidelined him for part of the summer, Yun, 18, recently lost in a playoff at the Porter Cup and finished fifth at the Pacific Coast Amateur. He is playing in his first Western Amateur and found Conway Farms to be a challenging test.
“It was tough,” Yun said. “A lot of tough pins tucked in difficult positions.  With greens this fast and firm and the rough this high, it is a tough course.”

One shot behind at 3-under par was Illinois sophomore Luke Guthrie, who was 6-under for his round before a double-bogey on No. 16 and a bogey on 17 derailed his round.
“One bad tee shot on 16 put me in the weeds,” Guthrie said, referring to the high fescue grass that lurks alongside many of the fairways at Conway Farms. “I made some good swings.  The finish was a little frustrating but it’s still a good round.”

Being the son of a PGA Tour pro has put some external pressure on him, but Tway-the-Younger said he receives a lot of good advice from his father, who played in three Western Amateurs before embarking on a distinguished PGA Tour career, which included a victory at the 1986 PGA Championship.

“He’s my swing coach and last week he caddied for me in my U.S. Amateur qualifier,” Tway said. “He’s always a big help.  He played the game at the highest level for 30 years. I look at it as a positive.”