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Archive for Sunday, August 13, 2006

Kane’s training off to fast start

Former Eagle Bend pro invited to PGA Championship

August 13, 2006

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Jim Kane's career is in transition. The Oral Roberts University Hall of Fame member is preparing a return to serious competition.

The days of serving as a golf course professional and operator are over for the man who starred on ORU teams that placed third and second in 1980 and '81 respectively at the NCAA Championships.

Returning to the grind of "drive for show, and putt for dough" is on Kane's agenda.

Kane will receive an indoctrination to that philosophy next week.

Kane earned one of 20 positions for club professionals at next week's 88th PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago. Kane tied for 12th at the PGA Club Professional Championship in June.

The performance at the Club Pro championship and berth to the PGA Championship is the perfect segue for Kane. Earlier this spring, the 48-year-old resigned as head pro and course manager at Eagle Bend Golf Course to move to Edmond, Okla., with his wife, Sandy, and begin preparations to play on the Champions Tour when he turns 50 in two years.

"We got married a few years ago, but we were trying to do the commuter marriage between Lawrence and Edmond, which was tough," Kane said. "She knew that I did have aspirations to play the Champions Tour. So the timing was right."

Timing is everything. Three weeks after his final day of work in Lawrence, Kane demonstrated his game was in good form at the Club Pro championship.

Kane, who won the PGA Midwest Section Club Pro Championship, shot a 2-under-par 70 in the fourth and final round to finish at 3-under 285 and earn his trip to Medinah.

"I had played in three Club Pro championships while I was in Lawrence, and my game was never what you would call finely tuned for those events," Kane said. "It had been a long time, but I was well prepared for that tournament and thought I could win the golf tournament.

"Obviously, that didn't happen, and I was right on the bubble entering that final day for the 20th spot. I played a really, really good round on that Sunday under tough conditions."

Kane will be making his second career PGA Championship appearance. He played in the 1992 tournament at Bellerive in St. Louis and made the cut.

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