124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Fields: Bob Tway Loves His New Role

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- After watching her husband, Bob, go about his job for more than two decades, Tammie Tway had to adjust to what she was seeing Thursday morning at Torrey Pines in the first round of the U.S. Open. "It's so weird seeing him with that bag," Tammie said as Bob walked up the 15th fairway alongside the couple's 19-year-old son, Kevin.

For Bob, though, who might be the first major champion (1986 PGA) to caddie in a major championship, being on the bag for Kevin in his first U.S. Open was the most natural thing in the world for the 18-time Open participant. "I can't tell you how much fun I'm having," Bob said after Kevin's first-round 75. "I would much rather be doing this than playing. No doubt about it. Now, if I was 39 years old, it might be different. But at 49, I've played in many Opens, and this is exactly where I want to be."

Besides, working was easier than merely watching as Bob had done this spring as Kevin finished his freshman season at Oklahoma State. "I've watched him play so much golf, but when you do that you have no control and for me, it's very, very nerve-wracking," Bob said. "Today was a piece of cake."

The round threatened to get out of control for Kevin after he went bogey-bogey-double bogey on Nos. 10-12. But he made two birdies in the last three holes, including one at the par-5 finishing hole after a 226-yard 3-iron set up a two-putt from 18 feet. Kevin admitted that having his father with him was a big help. "If I was getting out of sorts, he kind of calmed me down and gave me something to eat," said Kevin, the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur champion. "I usually listen to him because he knows his stuff and has played this golf course a lot.'

If not with the power of his son. "I can't hit a single shot like he can," said Bob, whose first PGA Tour victory came at Torrey Pines in the 1986 Shearson Lehman Brothers Andy Williams Open. "He hit a 3-iron straight up in the air on the last hole from about 230 yards and I can't do that. I can still beat him, because I'm smarter. I know how to manage my game, or I wouldn't have been out here this long. But I would love to have his skills and my mind."

*-- Bill  Fields *