Decade after Phoenix win, Kaye looking ahead instead of behind

By Jason SobelJanuary 31, 2014, 5:36 pm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – This week marks the 10-year anniversary of Jonathan Kaye's second and last PGA Tour victory, a two-stroke triumph here in his adopted hometown that to him doesn’t seem so long ago.

“I knew it was 10 years,” he says. “I was just like, ‘Man, that sure went fast.’ That’s about all I needed to know about it.”

Kaye won’t get much more sentimental than that, despite being far removed from a career that not only included those two wins, but 10 other top-three finishes and more than $10 million in earnings. He hasn’t teed it up since withdrawing after a first-round 75 at the Puerto Rico Open three years ago, the result of surgery on his right shoulder and a cartilage problem in his right foot.

Or as he puts it, “I’m just old.”

He’s really not, though. At 43, he is the same age as the likes of Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk, each of whom is still successfully plying his trade in the big leagues. That remains a goal for Kaye, who plans to compete in the Tour’s Panama Claro Championship in two months.

Not that he’s overly optimistic about his chances.

“I’m super rusty,” he admits. “I haven’t competed in almost three years. It takes a little while to get it back, you know? It’s a bit frustrating at times. You show some progress and suddenly you go backwards. It’s like learning how to play again.”

All of which stands to reason why the Colorado native and longtime Phoenix resident didn’t even bother to try and Monday qualify for this year’s edition of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, known a decade ago as the FBR Open when his name was engraved on the trophy.

In fact, Kaye doesn’t even identify himself as a professional golfer, choosing another vocation when asked what he does with his time.

“Dude, I’m a full-time dad,” he says of being there with his wife, Jennifer, for daughters Breeze, 8, and Ryelie, 6. “We’re up at 6 making breakfast, getting them cleaned up, getting them situated, then it’s on with my day. Then I’ve got to pick them up from school at 2:40, take them to tennis, violin, gymnastics, swimming, playdates. There are a lot of activities.”

It’s all a complete 180 from his playing days, when Kaye had a reputation as the PGA Tour’s bad boy.

He never fit into the cookie-cutter mold of professional golfer, the type who says and does all the right things so as to never ruffle any feathers. Even his Wikipedia page is largely devoted to a 2001 incident during which a tournament security guard wouldn’t allow him access without his identification badge, so he returned with it clipped to the zipper of his pants, resulting in what was reportedly a lengthy suspension.

Ask him whether that label was justified and Kaye professes neutrality.

“Frankly, I don’t care what anybody thinks of me,” he maintains. “Anytime you’re a little bit different, you stand out. People take notice of that. I don’t know if I was good or bad, but I always respected everybody I played with.”

Even with that incident on his permanent record, along with several other figurative scrapes and dustups on the course, Kaye contends that he only has one regret.

“My regret would be not working on my putting more,” he explains. "That prolongs your career. If I make putts, I’m out there. I mean, every guy who plays on Tour, if they putt well, they’re going to do well.”

There’s still time. Despite only playing “two, three, four times a week – wherever my buddies want to play or wherever the game is,” Kaye has some additional motivation.

He wants to show the two little girls he drops off at school and picks up in the afternoon and takes to all of those various activities that he has another job, too.

“My youngest doesn’t really remember me playing, but my oldest does,” he says. “It would be nice to make an impression, make a move in my game so they can remember it. We’ll see how it goes this year.”

Kaye is looking ahead instead of behind. He doesn’t think much about that victorious week here 10 years ago, a week when he topped a leaderboard consisting of recent major champions Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen and Mike Weir, plus Mickelson and Sergio Garcia. He recalls putting well during those rounds of 65-68-66-67, but that’s about it, really.

So don’t expect any sentimental gestures from him this week. Don’t assume he’ll spend any time reliving the glory days or reveling in nostalgia.

After all, it doesn’t seem like so long ago anyway. Not until he actually gives it some thought.

“Time just keeps on moving, man” he says. “Doesn’t it?”

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Molinari holds off McIlroy to win BMW PGA

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 3:20 pm

VIRGINIA WATER, England - Rory McIlroy left his victory charge too late at Wentworth as Francesco Molinari delivered a clinic in front-running to win the BMW PGA Championship by two shots with a 4-under 68 on Sunday.

McIlroy, who led by three shots at halfway, entered the final round tied for the lead with Molinari on 13 under par but a Sunday shootout at the European Tour's flagship event never really materialized.

Instead, as McIlroy toiled to a 70 that was propped up by birdies on the par fives at Nos. 17 and 18, Molinari went bogey-free for a second straight day to claim the fifth victory of his career and the biggest since a World Golf Championship in Shanghai in 2010.

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

The Italian only dropped two shots all week and finished on 17-under 271, with McIlroy alone in second place. Alex Noren (67) and Lucas Bjerregaard (65) were tied for third place a stroke further back.

Molinari moved into the automatic qualifying places for the Ryder Cup, which he hasn't played since 2012 when Europe beat the United States in the so-called ''Miracle at Medinah.''

He'd previously had five top-10 finishes in the last six years at Wentworth, including being runner-up to Noren last year.

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.