Kaye-Oh Local Boy Wins FBR Open

By Associated PressFebruary 1, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 FBR OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jonathan Kaye carried one of the lightest resumes among the contenders at the FBR Open, and still got to hoist the heaviest hardware. Kaye, who earned his first PGA Tour title last year in Westchester after 194 starts without a victory, shot a 4-under-par 67 Sunday and won by two strokes over Chris DiMarco.
 
This time, Kaye went only 12 tournaments between wins. He finished at 18-under 266 and earned $936,000 -- more than he had in all but three of his nine previous years on tour -- to take the top spot on the money list for the first time at $1,292,944.
 
'This one feels a little better than the first one,' Kaye said.
 
He handled the pressure of playing alongside previous Phoenix winners Phil Mickelson and DiMarco, getting a firsthand view of his partners' struggles.
 
DiMarco bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes, and Mickelson bogeyed his last three, leaving Kaye smiling as he approached the 18th green.
 
He parred out, rolling a 28-foot first putt within tap-in distance.
 
'I was still worried about Chris pouring that putt in and me potentially three-putting it,' Kaye said. 'I was pretty focused and trying not to get too far ahead of myself, but it was a good feeling -- goose bumps on top of goose bumps.'
 
DiMarco, the 2002 winner, finished with a 69.
 
Steve Flesch and defending champion Vijay Singh shot 66s to tie for third.
 
It was Singh's 11th consecutive top-10 finish, the longest run since Greg Norman had six straight in 1993 and five more starting 1994. Jack Nicklaus set the record with 14 in 1977.
 
Duffy Waldorf (65) and Masters champion Mike Weir (69) finished at 271, with first-round leader Scott Verplank (69) and Mickelson (72) at 272.
 
'It's dejecting when you have a chance to win and you don't but I'd rather be in that situation,' said Mickelson, who ended an 18-month victory drought by winning the Bob Hope last week. 'Last year, I didn't have those chances.'
 
Mickelson started a stroke behind Kaye and DiMarco but had a two-shot lead at 15 under after a birdie on the fifth hole. Then he bogeyed the par-3 seventh when he drove into the rough on the right side of the green, chipped on and two-putted from 4 feet.
 
The left-hander got his last solo lead with another birdie on No. 10. But DiMarco caught up with the first three of his six straight birdies on the back nine, and, when Kaye birdied No. 12, the three were tied at 15 under.
 
All three birdied the 13th hole to go 16 under. Then Kaye and DiMarco kept up the pressure while Mickelson faltered.
 
Both birdied No. 14, and Mickelson fell two shots back with a bogey.
 
On the par-5 15th hole, Kaye laid up short of the water for an 85-yard wedge to the island green, then sank the last of his five birdies with a 10-foot putt. DiMarco also laid up and birdied from 11 feet.
 
That's when DiMarco's close game went south. On No. 16, a par-3 with the loudest gallery in golf, he pulled his tee shot into a bunker on the left side, blasted out and saw the ball run to the far side of the green 32 feet from the cup and two-putted for bogey.
 
'It was fun,' DiMarco said. 'We were kind of drawing on each other. He had the benefit of watching me hit what I did on No. 16. I think that helped him out a lot, because he hit 9-iron too, and I don't think he would have hit it that hard if my ball had gotten there or if he was up.
 
'Who knows? The tables could have turned on that hole.'
 
DiMarco nearly drove the green on the 17th hole, a 332-yard par-4, but his chip from the rough on the right side again failed to hold and rolled onto the back fringe.
 
After another chip, he missed a 7-foot putt to save par and could only watch Kaye par out.
 
Divots:@ Final-round attendance was 90,768 - a record for a Super Bowl Sunday - and the weeklong gate was announced at 503,564. PGA commissioner Tim Finchem said the huge galleries, although difficult to control, are good for the game. 'This event says to the national television audience that it is popular, it's exciting, it attracts lots of different people, it's a big sporting event. ... This year's purse was $5.2 million - up by $1.2 million, with an extra $216,000 for the winner - after adding Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, its first title sponsor. Sixty-seven previous tournaments went by Arizona or Phoenix Open. ... DiMarco's birdie string tied a tournament record matched Friday by Justin Leonard.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.