HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Brian Harman wasn’t clicking early Friday as the Savannah native made his way around Harbour Town Golf Links, where he entered the second round of the RBC Heritage in a tie for eighth place.
But as he has been doing so consistently all year, Harman battled to keep his score respectable, with his trusted caddie, Scott Tway, there every step of the way.
Harman started on the back nine and was 2-over par through his first 10 holes, but he birdied three of his final eight and made clutch sand saves at Nos. 7 and 8 to shoot 1-under 70.
He put the finishing touches on the round by holing an 11-footer for birdie on No. 9, going through the pre-putt routine with Tway, as he always does. Harman is at 5-under par for the tournament in a tie for 16th as of Friday afternoon.
Golf runs through the blood of Tway, whose family name is familiar to fans of the game. His older brother, Bob Tway, won eight times on Tour and is best known for his iconic hole-out from the sand on the final hole at Inverness Club to win the 1986 PGA Championship.
Scott’s nephew, Kevin Tway, is in the field at Harbour Town this week. The Oklahoma State graduate has one win on Tour.
Scott Tway was a great golfer himself, playing on scholarship at Georgia Southern. He was on his brother’s bag in 1995 when Bob Tway won at Harbour Town in what was then called the MCI Classic. Scott Tway has caddied on Tour for 30 years, also working with Scott Verplank and Chris Kirk, the latter like Harman a University of Georgia graduate.
Tway has served as Harman’s caddie since around 2013 but missed Harman’s first win at the 2014 John Deere Classic due to illness. But he was there in 2017 when Harman drained a 28-footer to win the Wells Fargo Championship in Wilmington, North Carolina. Tway, nicknamed “Country,” was the first to congratulate the Savannah Christian alumnus with a hearty high-five.
“He’s got a really calming effect,” Harman said of Tway on Friday. “I tend to run kind of hot and kind of cold, and he’s sort of leveled me out. So that’s really good, and he’s been here a long time and seen it a bunch of different ways, and I just think we do good work together.
“He’s seen me as my worst and I’ve seen him at his worst. At this point, we’re like an old married couple.”
Harman hung tough and didn’t let things get away from him as his family and a contingent of friends followed him.
“This has not been an easy round for him,” said his mother, Nancy Harman. “He’s been scrambling out of the traps and saving par. The last two holes (Nos. 7 and 8) were incredible saves. He’s done a good job holding his position so he can be in it Saturday and Sunday.”
Nancy Harman said her son and Tway have formed a special bond.
“They are like magic together,” she said. I’m not sure what the chemistry is. Scott is very quiet and laid back, except when someone isn’t standing still while Brian is taking a shot. He’s very protective of Brian. They’re great friends and work well together.
“I used to tell Brian I was worried when he would go to Malaysia and some of the other foreign countries. But he would say ‘Mom, you don’t have to worry. I’ve got Country with me; he’s like my personal bodyguard.’ ”
Harman, who finished in a tie for 12th at the Masters last week, said he made a couple mistakes that cost him Friday, but got the most he could out of his round after that.
“Yeah, it was a struggle, man. It was really windy this morning. It was just hard to make birdies,” Harman said. “I just made one bad swing on No. 16; cost me a bogey, and a bad swing on No. 1. I was glad to play the last eight 3-under and kind of right the ship.
“I was pretty exhausted after last week. I’m proud of the way that I’ve hung in there this week,” he said. “I’ve hit some good shots. If I could just make a couple more putts, I think I can do something this weekend.”
Dennis Knight covers sports for the Savannah Morning News. Contact him at Dknight@savannahnow.com. Twitter: @DennisKnightSMN
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/04/16/pga-tour-brian-harman-caddie-rbc-heritage/