Kaye outlasts DiMarco for win at FBR Open
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Kaye and DiMarco were in the final threesome with local favorite
Kaye and DiMarco shared the lead at 16-under par after 13 holes, but the 14th proved to be crucial. Mickelson, one behind the pair, drove into the rough, then got a bit of bad fortune when his second bounced into a greenside bunker. He blasted 10 feet past the hole before missing his par putt. Kaye and DiMarco holed birdie putts from slightly longer than 20 feet to go two clear of Mickelson.
At the par-five 15th, Kaye and DiMarco both laid up with their second shots and the conservative decisions paid off. DiMarco hit a lob-wedge 14 feet left of the hole and drained his birdie putt to go one ahead of Kaye. Kaye poured in a 10-footer of his own to draw even with DiMarco as they headed to the wild par-three 16th.
The 16th at the TPC of Scottsdale is one of, if not the rowdiest scenes on the PGA Tour with loud and enthusiastic galleries. When DiMarco won two years ago, a spectator yelled during his putt. He still canned it on the way to the winner's circle.
This year DiMarco's problem was not with an overzealous fan but poor club selection. He missed the green short and landed in a front bunker. Kaye knocked his tee ball safely onto the putting surface. DiMarco's sand shot ran 12 feet past the hole while Kaye snuggled his lag putt to a foot and tapped in for par. DiMarco missed his par-saving putt and fell one behind Kaye.
At the driveable par-four 17th, Kaye played safe with an iron off the tee that found the fairway. DiMarco pulled out driver and hit his tee ball right of the green. Kaye's approach stopped 18 feet from the hole on the fringe, but DiMarco's drive left him no chance of going at the pin. He pitched left of the stick and ran the ball through the green. DiMarco's chip skated four feet past the hole and he missed the par putt for back-to-back bogeys. Kaye made a routine, two-putt par to go two ahead of DiMarco with 18 to play.
Both players found the fairway off the tee and both had long looks at birdie on the final hole. Kaye lagged his birdie putt from 45 feet to less than a foot and tapped in for his second career win on the PGA Tour.
"I was trying to stay focused," said Kaye, who pocketed $936,000 for the win. "I was trying to play each shot as it came."
Kaye was consistent with one birdie and one bogey on the front nine. He holed a pair of six-footers for birdie at 12 and 13, but that was only to match DiMarco, who caught fire after the turn.
DiMarco, a three-time winner on tour, sank a 17-foot birdie putt at the 10th to start a birdie barrage. He made a 22-footer at No. 11, then hit his tee ball to a foot at the 12th to make it three in a row.
DiMarco matched Kaye's three birdies from 13-15 to tally six in a row but it wasn't enough to top Kaye.
"It was fun," admitted DiMarco. "We were kind of drawing on each other. He deserves it. He certainly went out and beat me today."
Mickelson's bid to win in back-to-back weeks was thwarted with the bogey at 14. Unfortunately, he also bogeyed 16, 17 and 18 en route to a one-over 72.
Mickelson, last week's Bob Hope Chrysler Classic winner, shared seventh with