SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- Bob Tway was one of golf's rising stars when he came to Shinnecock Hills for the 1986 U.S. Open. He also was the PGA Tour's hottest player, having won twice in his second year on the PGA Tour. He would win two other tournaments later that summer, including the PGA Championship.
"I had a lot of confidence," Tway said here Friday. "I had just won the week before in Westchester and played well here and I won the next week in Atlanta. I would honestly say if I had that confidence, I would feel better about my position right now."
Tway came into yesterday's third round at 2-under par 138, three shots behind Greg Norman. He had not been in this position midway through an Open since 1990 at Medinah, when he shot himself out of contention with a pair of 74s.
Then again, Tway hasn't been in contention at many tournaments the past few years. Since holing out from a bunker on the 72nd hole to beat Norman at the PGA nine years ago -- a victory that led to his being named Player of the Year -- Tway's career took a fast track to oblivion.
"I had a tough time saying 'No' back then," said Tway, 36. "I have a lot more responsibilities than I did back then. I won't be tinkering with my golf swing trying to get better. I will leave well enough alone."
Tway bottomed out in 1992, when he finished 179th on the money list and lost his Tour card. He has climbed back slowly, and won his first event in five years at the MCI Heritage in April. He came into the Open with $412,079 in earnings this year, 18th on the money list.
Tway, who finished tied for eighth in 1986, holds no illusions of winning this year's Open.
"When I missed about eight or nine cuts in a row one time, I said, 'This is pretty bad,' " said Tway. "You know I couldn't find the golf course. I think all you can do with my philosophy was to start at the very bottom and take baby steps back up."
No exemption, no go
Bill Glasson has a simple rule when it comes to playing in the Open. If he's exempted into the field, he goes. If he has to qualify, he stays home.
"I usually sign up [to qualify]," he said Friday, "but I don't go. You know, 36 holes in one day and six hours each. I admire the guys that go, but I am not going to admire them from close up."
Even when he's exempt for the Open, he doesn't make a big deal about it.
"The only reason you come to a U.S. Open is to try to win," said Glasson, 35. "We all want to win."
A win would get him a 10-year exemption from qualifying. But he wouldn't use the prize money toward his hobby of flying. He already has a state-of-the-art twin-engine prop that seats eight.
"I think there's a big correlation between the precision needed in flying and in golf," said Glasson. "In golf, you're trying to hit the perfect shot. When you fly, you're trying to make the perfect landing. I don't fly because I want to say I do it. I fly to improve the quality of my life."
Breaks of the game
Quote of the day: "I'm just lucky I didn't break any bones." -- Fuzzy Zoeller after a 6-over 76.