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Pros bond with sons through golf

Bob Tway and his son, Kevin, are just one example of how the game can bring a family together.
By Cody Stavenhagen, Staff Writer Published: July 11, 2014

Bob Tway could have played in the FedEx Cup Playoffs at The Barclays in 2008.

He could have gone head-to-head with the best golfers in the world, tried for one of his last shots at glory on the PGA Tour.

Instead, he spent that week caddying for his son, Kevin Tway, at the U.S. Amateur Championship.

“That was what was important to me,” Bob Tway said.

He decided a few years earlier, when Kevin started his career at Oklahoma State, that he would be there as often as possible — even if that meant missing out on some of his own golf.

Bob Tway had already made his money in the sport, more than $14 million. He had already played his share, 28 years on the PGA Tour.

Bob, now 55, is continuing his career on the Champions Tour while Kevin enters the pro world himself. In fact, Kevin Tway is in contention this weekend at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.

That makes the Tways highlights on a growing list of Champions Tour golfers with sons also playing professionally.

At the U.S. Senior Open in Edmond, there are at least five fathers with sons who play professionally. Several others have sons playing in college or amateurs. Many have their sons caddying.

Family tradition isn’t seen to quite that level in any other major sport. The reason?

Golf might be the ultimate father-son game.

“I don’t know if it’s just for a father and son, but golf relates to everybody,” Bob Tway said. “Once you get a passion for golf, it stays with you forever. The good thing is you can be a different ability level and still go out and participate together, whereas if you have a bad player in tennis playing a good player in tennis, it’s no fun for either one.”

Jay Haas — who withdrew from the U.S. Senior Open with a back injury but is second on the Champions Tour money list — is part of one of golf’s greatest family dynasties.

His uncle, Bob Goalby, won the 1968 Masters and taught Jay and his brother, Jerry, the game. Both brothers went on to long pro careers, and Jay’s son, Bill, now has five PGA Tour wins.

“I don’t think it’s a dream come true because I couldn’t have dreamed anything quite like it,” Jay Haas said. “It’s just so tough to get out on the PGA Tour that the chances of another person from the same family is pretty remote.”

Jay Haas said he didn’t force the game on his sons, but with him being a pro golfer, it came naturally. The same goes for Olin Browne, whose son, Olin Jr., is on the Tour.

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