Augusta's greens were not as challenging as pursuing a golf career is when your dad is Tom Kite. David will be compared with his father for as long as he plays the game. "At this point David is not as driven as Tom is," says Christy, who quickly added, "Well, that's not a fair comparison. No one is as driven as Tom."
At 5'8" and 135 pounds David looks like his dad, moves like him and has a similar outgoing personality. A picture of David hangs on a clubhouse wall at Austin Country Club because he's the current junior club champion. Cover up the date, though, and you'd swear it was a shot from Tom's high school yearbook. "He's not as good a player as I was at 17," says Tom, "but his swing mechanics are significantly better than mine were, so his potential is probably greater. He's progressing nicely."
David has yet to win a match against his dad. "It's definitely getting to me," the teenager admits. "I've been so close, it's not even funny." He recalled one match in which Tom was one over par and David was two under with two holes to play. Tom finished birdie-birdie, David bogey-bogey. "Dad says it's going to take longer than I think, but it will be sooner than he wants," David says. "He's not going to let it happen if he can help it, but I think it might happen this summer."
There have been no significant tournament victories yet for David, although his most exciting moment came when he holed a seven-iron shot two years ago during a televised father-son Silly Season event. This year it was no small feat just to make the varsity for West Lake High, a school that has racked up three Texas 5A championships since 1996. David's got the golf bug...bad. He's usually on the 1st tee at Austin Country Club within minutes of finishing the school day. He wants to play college golf and maybe become a pro. When he was in Augusta, David got a look at the Crow's Nest—the rooms in the clubhouse where amateurs who qualify for the Masters usually stay—and decided, "I want to be there someday."
Kite is only five years removed from his third runner-up finish at the Masters. "I scared the hell out of Tiger that year," Kite says jokingly about his finish, 12 shots behind Woods's 1997 tournament-record total of 270,18 under par. Another Kite joke is his stock answer for questions concerning what it takes to win a major: "First, you've got to enter." As he slides ever closer to playing the Senior circuit exclusively, that little joke has never been more apropos.
From 1976 through '86 Kite placed sixth or better in nine of 11 Masters. He has a dozen top 10 finishes overall, including a heartbreaking tie for second in '86, when Jack Nicklaus put together a stunning run at the end to win by a stroke. "What are the odds of anybody, including Jack, playing the last 10 holes in seven under par? Give me a break," Kite says. "Jack shoots 30 on the back, even with a bogey at 12. It was ridiculous, the stuff that he did. That was a tournament where I did what I was supposed to do to win. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had 169 yards at 18.1 wasn't sure I could get a six-iron there but absolutely killed it, hit a beautiful shot over the bunker to 10 feet. That putt puts me in a playoff with Jack. I've got a birdie on 18 and momentum, and he's coming out of Butler Cabin. Who knows what would've happened?"
Kite's subsequent comment at the time sums up his career of Masters near misses: "I made the putt. It just didn't go in."
On his first day of high school Paul Kite told his mother he was staying after school to attend a forensics meeting. "I was so stupid, I was thinking Quincy, M.E." recalls Christy, referring to the old TV show about a medical examiner. "I said, 'Forensics? What are you talking about?' I knew he wasn't a scientist type."
In this case forensics was a competition in acting, speaking and debating. Paul jokes that he plays in the NFL, but he means the National Forensics League. In a family of type A personalities, he is the square peg. "We're not real sure where Paul came from," Christy says jokingly. "He's not like anyone else in this family." Paul and David are not identical twins; in fact, David and Stephanie look more alike than David and Paul. There's another significant difference between the brothers: "Paul has no interest in golf," Tom says. "He is a wonderfully gifted kid with the ability to entertain people. He's not afraid of performing."
What began as a 10-year-old's visit to an acting group for children has evolved into a passion for the stage. Last spring he was in a one-act-play competition, performing in You Can't Take It with You, and his team won the district championship. In his school's recent production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Paul played the key role of Bottom and stole the show. Last month he and a partner finished fourth in a state tournament for Love Letters, a dramatic comedy about two pen pals whose lives are revealed through their correspondence. Comedy is Paul's specialty, but this semester he won the lead role of Constantine in The Seagull, a drama. "It's different from anything I've ever done," he says. Paul typically doesn't get home from rehearsals until 8 or 9 p.m. "When Steph was here, she was almost never home," Paul says. "She'd get home from gymnastics at nine, do her homework, go to bed, wake up and go to school. I think I'm turning into her. I may have to leave my parents a note: I'm still alive—Paul."