Jacobsen Grabs Top Spot

By Associated PressAugust 27, 2004, 4:00 pm
ALOHA, Ore. -- Peter Jacobsen leads the tournament he helped bring to his home state.
Jacobsen shot an 6-under 66 Friday in the JELD-WEN Tradition to move to 9 under, one stroke ahead of Bruce Lietzke, after two rounds of the Champions Tour's last major of the year.
Jacobsen was instrumental in relocating the Tradition to the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club last year, but he wasn't able to play the inaugural event because at 49 he was too young.
Now, as a rookie on the Champions Tour, Jacobsen already has a major - he won the U.S. Senior Open in St. Louis.
'It feels right,' he said after his round Friday. 'It feels like that is what I should be doing.'
Lietzke had a 67 to head into the third round at 8 under. D.A. Weibring was among five players at 6 under.
After Thursday's first round was soaked by frequent downpours, conditions were mostly sunny and dry on Friday.
Weather was still a factor though, as most players teed off about an hour late for maintenance while greenskeepers did their best to improve the soggy course.
Vicente Fernandez, one of three leaders at the start of the day, was also 6 under for the tournament with a 1-under 71 Friday. But it wasn't without a struggle.
Fernandez said he nearly pulled out after a pain that started in his neck on the first day spread down his back. He had treatment both days.
'It was much more pleasant today with the sun shining,' he said.
Jose Maria Canizares, who had the lead after the first round with Fernandez and Bruce Summerhays, was also among those at 6 under.
Weibring took advantage of the delay Friday morning to watch his son, Matt, compete in the PGA Tour's Buick Championship.
Matt Weibring, 24, was tied for second after the opening round of the tournament, formerly known as the Greater Hartford Open. On Friday, he fell off the leader board, but still made the cut.
The younger Weibring is playing on a sponsor's exemption and is competing in just his third PGA Tour event. His father won the tournament in 1996 with his then-16-year-old son in the gallery.
'I'm sitting here right now watching the `tourcast' and he bogeyed the first two holes,' Weibring said. 'I'm sure he was a little nervous.'
The elder Weibring kept up with his son's progress during play on Thursday through his wife, who got text-message updates on her cell phone. And the two had talked frequently.
Did the younger Weibring have any advice for dad?
'He just told me to play well,' the elder Weibring said. 'But the focus isn't on me right now, it's on him, and his future.'
Jacobsen won the Greater Hartford Open last year, but chose not to defend his title there so he could compete in the Tradition, which he lobbied for after 14 years in Arizona.
Jacobsen is a Portland native and went to the University of Oregon. Peter Jacobsen Productions, the golfer's sports management firm, runs the Tradition, sponsored by Oregon window and door maker JELD-WEN.
'It's so fun for me to be able to do this,' he said.
For his first season of eligibility on the Champions Tour, Jacobsen was slowed by hip surgery. He had to withdraw from two tournaments before his dramatic win in the U.S. Senior Open, when rain forced the players to put in 36 holes on Sunday.
On Friday there was no sign of any lingering pain. Jacobsen easily sank a 5-foot putt on the 18th hole to the cheers of the crowd.
'I promised everybody a great tournament and I want to make good on it,' he said.
Related Links:
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  • Leaderboard - JELD-WEN Tradition
  • Full Coverage - JELD-WEN Tradition
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    Langer not playing to pass Irwin, but he just might

    By Tim RosaforteJanuary 16, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Bernhard Langer goes back out on tour this week to chase down more than Hale Irwin’s PGA Tour Champions record of 45 career victories. His chase is against himself.

    “I’m not playing to beat Hale Irwin’s record,” Langer told me before heading to Hawaii to defend his title at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. “I play golf to play the best I can, to be a good role model, and to enjoy a few more years that are left.”

    Langer turned 60 on Aug. 27 and was presented a massage chair by his family as a birthday gift. Instead of reclining (which he does to watch golf and football), he won three more times to close out a seven-win campaign that included three major championships. A year prior, coming off a four-victory season, Langer told me after winning his fourth Charles Schwab Cup that surpassing Irwin’s record was possible but not probable. With 36 career victories and 11 in his last two years, he has changed his tone to making up the nine-tournament difference as “probable.”

    “If I could continue a few more years on that ratio, I could get close or pass him,” Langer told me from his home in Boca Raton, Fla. “It will get harder. I’m 60 now. It’s a big challenge but I don’t shy away from challenges.”

    Bernhard Langer, Hale Irwin at the 1991 Ryder Cup (Getty Images)

    Langer spent his off-season playing the PNC Father/Son, taking his family on a ski vacation at Big Sky in Yellowstone, Montana, and to New York for New Year’s. He ranks himself as a scratch skier, having skied since he was four years old in Germany. The risk of injury is worth it, considering how much he loves “the scenery, the gravity and the speed.”

    Since returning from New York, Langer has immersed himself into preparing for the 2018 season. Swing coach Willy Hoffman, who he has worked with since his boyhood days as an as assistant pro in Germany, flew to Florida for their 43rd year of training.

    “He’s a straight shooter,” Hoffman told me. “He says, 'Willy, every hour is an hour off my life and we have 24 hours every day.'"

    As for Irwin, they have maintained a respectful relationship that goes back to their deciding singles match in the 1991 Ryder Cup. Last year they were brought back to Kiawah Island for a corporate appearance where they reminisced and shared the thought that nobody should ever have to bear what Langer went through, missing a 6-footer on the 18th green. That was 27 years ago. Both are in the Hall of Fame.

    "I enjoy hanging out with Hale," Langer says.

    Langer’s chase of Irwin’s record is not going to change their legacies. As Hoffman pointed out, “Yes, (Bernhard) is a rich man compared to his younger days. He had no money, no nothing. But today you don’t feel a difference when you talk to him. He’s always on the ground.”

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    McIlroy: Ryder Cup won't be as easy as USA thinks

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 16, 2018, 1:18 pm

    The Americans have won their past two international team competitions by a combined score of 38-22, but Rory McIlroy isn’t expecting another pushover at the Ryder Cup in September.

    McIlroy admitted that the U.S. team will be strong, and that its core of young players (including Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler) will be a force for the next decade. But he told reporters Tuesday at the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship that course setup will play a significant role.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said, referring to the Americans’ 17-11 victory in 2016. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    At every Ryder Cup, the home team has the final say on course setup. Justin Rose was the most outspoken about the setup at Hazeltine, saying afterward that it was “incredibly weak” and had a “pro-am feel.” 

    And so this year’s French Open figures to be a popular stop for European Tour players – it’s being held once again at Le Golf National, site of the matches in September. Tommy Fleetwood won last year’s event at 12 under.

    “I’m confident,” McIlroy said. “Everything being all well and good, I’ll be on that team and I feel like we’ll have a really good chance.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that. The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.” 

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    Floodlights may be used at Dubai Desert Classic

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 16, 2018, 12:44 pm

    No round at next week’s Dubai Desert Classic will be suspended because of darkness.

    Tournament officials have installed state-of-the-art floodlighting around the ninth and 18th greens to ensure that all 132 players can finish their round.

    With the event being moved up a week in the schedule, the European Tour was initially concerned about the amount of daylight and trimmed the field to 126 players. Playing under the lights fixed that dilemma.

    “This is a wonderful idea and fits perfectly with our desire to bring innovation to our sport,” European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said. “No professional golfer ever wants to come back the following morning to complete a round due to lack of daylight, and this intervention, should it be required, will rule out that necessity.”

    Next week’s headliners include Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson. 

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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.