Kaye-Oh Local Boy Wins FBR Open

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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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