Jacobsen Considers Amateurs Lifeblood
``Amateurs are the lifeblood of a PGA Tour,'' Jacobsen said. ``The (pro) players think it's about them but it's not about them. It's about the amateurs and the corporate support we get around the country.
``I think the tournaments that we play on tour, I would include the AT&T, at Disney World, any tournament where we can play an amateur component is very important. I like meeting new people and having a chance to play with amateurs and play with celebrities.''
Jacobsen will have ample opportunity to meet new people at the Hope, a 90-hole tournament where every pro is teamed with a different trio of amateurs each day for the first four days before going it alone on Sunday.
He said he has never been distracted by playing with amateurs or celebrities.
``I played in the Pebble Beach tournament for 18 years with Jack Lemmon, for heavens sake,'' he said. ``We'd have 160 yards and he would say, 'What do you think?' I would say, 'Jack, it's a 9-iron, or 4-wood, it doesn't matter. You hit all of them the same distance anyway.'''
Jacobsen's six career wins include the Hope in 1990, and at Pebble Beach in 1995.
He vividly recalls the Hope victory.
``I remember walking up 18 and I had to two-putt for a birdie to win the tournament, to beat (Scott Simpson and Brian Tennyson) by one stroke, and Bob and Delores Hope were on the 18th green with my wife clapping and saying, 'Oh, you've done it!'
``I said, 'Yeah, I've got to two-putt from 52 feet, Bob. Have a chair, grab a cold one and wait.'''
Jacobsen, 48, said he learned to respect pro-ams from observing some of the top players when he came on to the tour.
``I have three amateurs with me and it's my job first and foremost to make sure each of those three players has the best day he's ever going to have on a golf course,'' he said. ``Not to say my golf is secondary, but it's not as important as having those guys have a great day.
``That's my perspective, probably not shared by a lot of players out here. I learned that perspective from players who came before me, like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Fuzzy Zoeller and Chi Chi Rodriguez ' guys that got it.''
Jacbosen feels so strongly that he wishes the PGA Tour would require players to compete in the Hope and at Pebble Beach since ``you have a chance to rub elbows with the corporate CEOs.''
``And I would also tell these guys, 'Look, if you had a chance to play on a Saturday afternoon with Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Sorbo and Joe Pesci, would you enjoy that?
``Yeah, you probably would,'' Jacobsen said.
``So why don't you just enjoy it during the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, because all those guys come out because of the (golf) stars, the David Duvals, the Phil Mickelsons, the Tiger Woods. They want to play with them.''
Mickelson is back to defend his title in the Hope, and 1999 champion Duval is also in the field. Woods has never played the tournament.
``I would hate to see tournaments like this start to go away,'' Jacobsen said. ``A lot of players need a refresher course on how important the amateur involvement is.''
Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test
One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.
Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.
"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."
Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.
"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.
"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18