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Reno-Tahoe Offers Hope to Bubble Boys

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PGA Tour (75x100)The 2006 edition of the Reno-Tahoe Open gets under way Thursday at the only course that has played host to the event since its inception - the Montreux Golf & Country Club in Reno.
 
Although once again played opposite the WGC - Bridgestone Invitational on the PGA TOUR schedule, the field is not without some of the big names on tour. Former major winners Nick Price, David Duval, Shaun Micheel and Rich Beem are set to tee it up along with perennial fan favorite Jesper Parnevik and the big-hitting Bubba Watson.
 
Notably absent this year is Vaughn Taylor, who had won back-to-back titles the last two years at Montreux GC. Taylor would have undoubtedly been back to defend his title but qualified for the WGC event by making this year's Ryder Cup squad.
 
That leaves the $3 million purse up for grabs, with $540,000 going to the winner.
 
And with the PGA TOUR season beginning to wind down, that first-place prize could go a long way to helping secure a players PGA TOUR card for the 2007 season.
 
One of the players who definitely would benefit from a good finish is the man sitting squarely on the bubble at the 127th position on the money list, two-time runner-up Jonathan Kaye. Less than $5,000 behind Kevin Sutherland for the magical 125th spot, Kaye enters the week after a pair of missed cuts and a withdrawal from the John Deere Classic in July.
 
And the survival of a pretty bad car accident that left both cars involved totaled.
 
The accident occurred just days prior to the start of the John Deere where he shot an opening-round 75 before deciding to withdraw.
 
'It was quite an adventure,' said Kaye of the accident. 'I've started to bounce back. It didn't seem that bad at first, but about a week later I was pretty sore. We were all pretty bruised up.'
 
Kaye did manage to make it to the weekend at The International several weeks ago before missing the second round of cuts that are unique at that tournament. But he ultimately feels that it is his putting, and not the car mishap, that's to be blamed.
 
'I'm driving it OK, but my irons are about (like) a 12-handicap, and my putting is on the verge of maybe a 30-handicap,' he said. 'You're laughing, but I'm dead serious. I can't shake a putt in from 3 feet right now.'
 
The PGA TOUR stats back up his claim - he ranks 196th on tour in putting average.
 
'I don't even think there are (197) people on Tour,' Kaye said about such a low ranking in a statistical category. 'I'm going to get my eyes checked right now. I'm dead serious.'
 
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