Jacobsen Still Backs Hartford

By Associated PressMay 11, 2004, 4:00 pm
PGA TourCROMWELL, Conn. -- Peter Jacobsen, last year's PGA comeback player of the year, was back at the TPC at River Highlands on Monday, the scene of his 2003 sentimental wire-to-wire win.
There've been a few changes since then.

Jacobsen was on crutches, sidelined for eight weeks by arthroscopic hip surgery and the tournament he calls his 'second home' has a new name: the Buick Championship.
The former Greater Hartford Open, in danger of extinction after 52 years, was rescued in the nick of time last year by Buick. It is now one of four PGA stops that carries the auto manufacturer's name in the tournament title. It will be held this year from Aug. 23-29.
Jacobsen, a longtime fan favorite, also won the GHO 20 years ago and is one of just five multiple winners of the tournament.
The gallery embraced the easygoing Jacobsen, who bantered with the fans and shook hands throughout his final round of 3-under par 67 last year.
'Last year when I was winning the tournament or in the position to win ... memories of '84 came flooding back,' Jacobsen said during the tournament's annual media day. 'One thing I remember most about Hartford is the incredible support of the fans. When I was coming up 18 back in '84, there was no corporate row back then, but still there were hundreds of thousands of people up on the hill.'
The corporations did eventually show up and two decades later were the prime reason the tournament is still around today. When Canon pulled out after 18 years as a sponsor after the 2002 GHO, tournament officials cobbled together $4 million corporate sponsors to float the 2003 tournament.
'People come out and support this event because it's their community,' Jacobsen said. 'Whether the companies were big or small last year, they kept this event alive. It's because of the people, the heart and soul in this community.'
The tournament pumps about $20 million into the local economy for that one summer week. It's also the sole fund-raiser for the Greater Hartford Jaycees, who have donated about $24 million to charitable causes over the past 52 years, tournament officials have said.
Gov. John G. Rowland also was a driving force behind the scenes last year to keep the tournament afloat.
'He has always seen the tremendous value of the GHO and PGA Tour being in Connecticut as one of the most well-attended events in any given year,' spokesman Chris Cooper said. 'He did a lot of work and talked to a lot of people.'
Tournament Director Dan Baker said Buick brings a wealth of tournament know-how since the company runs its own golf tournament and is the title sponsor of two others.
'They know what they're doing and know what they want to accomplish,' Baker said. 'It's a big sigh of relief. For about a year and a half I spent so much time looking for a title sponsor. Now it's nice to be able to just focus on running the tournament.'
Buick also is the longtime sponsor of Tiger Woods, who has not yet played at Hartford. Buick's sponsorship has raised speculation that Woods might play in Connecticut one year. Also Monday, tournament officials announced that Nick Price, the two-time PGA player of the year and the 1993 GHO winner, has committed to the field.
This year's field will not include the 50-year-old Jacobsen, however. He expects to be healthy enough but is committed to the JELD-WEN Tradition, a Champions Tour Major Event in his hometown of Portland, Ore.
'Hopefully, I'll be able to come back next year,' Jacobsen said. 'I would love to come back to Hartford as many years as the Jaycees will have me and Buick will have me. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Tiger Woods will come play, because this tournament deserves Tiger Woods.'
It's already got a champion in Peter Jacobsen.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Buick Championship

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    Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

    Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

    As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

    Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

    This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

    The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

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    Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

    PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

    She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

    “I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

    Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

    “Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

    She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

    “I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

    Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

    She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

    “They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

    Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

    While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

    “Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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    Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

    PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

    In fact, she named her “Mona.”

    For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

    While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

    And that has her excited about this year.

    Well, that and having a healthy back again.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

    Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    “Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

    Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

    She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

    Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.

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    Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders

    By Associated PressMarch 17, 2018, 1:47 am

    PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.

    Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.

    Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.