Jacobsen Tied on Top at Tradition

By Associated PressAugust 28, 2004, 4:00 pm
ALOHA, Ore. -- Peter Jacobsen shot a 3-under 69 Saturday, but was joined atop the leaderboard by Vicente Fernandez, who carded a 6-under 66, after three rounds of the JELD-WEN Tradition. That duo stands at 12-under-par 204, one shot clear of Allen Doyle.
D.A. Weibring carded his third consecutive 3-under 69 to take fourth place at 9-under-par 207 in the season's fifth and final major on the South Course at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club.
A trio of former winners of this event are one stroke further back at minus-8. Tom Kite, the 2000 Tradition winner, is joined at 8 under by 2001 champion Doug Tewell, as well as 1997 and 1998 winner Gil Morgan. They are joined there Craig Stadler, who carded a double-eagle at the par-5 16th.
Jacobsen, a University of Oregon graduate, is the hometown favorite as his firm runs this event. After he parred the first three holes, Jacobsen caught fire and it looked as though he would run away from the field.
He dropped in a birdie at the par-4 fourth and came right back to birdie the fifth. Jacobsen then drained a 4-foot birdie try at the eighth to jump to 12 under.
Jacobsen, who won the U.S. Senior Open four weeks ago, parred the seventh, then missed his first green in regulation since the first round at No. 8. Including the eighth, he missed four straight greens, but played those holes in 1 under.
He got up-and-down for par at the eighth, ninth and 10th. Then at the par-3 11th, he missed the green left, but holed his chip shot for birdie to get to 13 under.
Jacobsen then missed several birdie chances on the way to the clubhouse. He narrowly missed a couple of putts before stumbling to a bogey at the 17th, his first since bogeying the same hole in round one. He missed another makable birdie putt at the last to share the overnight lead with Fernandez.
'I hit some really good putts coming in,' said Jacobsen, who is making just his fourth start on the Champions Tour. 'I had a chance pretty much on every hole to make a putt and when things don't go your way, you've just got to stay positive and keep rolling them. I left a couple right in the heart.
'I'm rolling the ball well as I said the last two days. You can't make every putt, but if you put a good roll on it, then something is going to go in. So, hopefully tomorrow I'll make the ones I'm not supposed to make.'
Fernandez, one of three first round co-leaders, quietly moved back to the top of the leaderboard. He opened with a 5-foot birdie at the first and came back with a birdie at the fourth to move to 8 under.
The 58-year-old Fernandez dropped in his third birdie at the ninth, his third in three days at that hole. He rolled in a 5-footer for birdie at the 12th to get to 10 under overall.
The Argentine maintained his hot play with a birdie at the par-3 14th. Fernandez cruised to three straight pars, as he headed to the last within one of the lead.
Fernandez, a four-time winner on the Champions Tour, dropped his third shot within 6 feet of the cup at the last. He rolled in that birdie try to join Jacobsen in the lead.
'I struck the ball very well again today,' said Fernandez, who has battled neck and back pain all weekend. 'I holed a few more putts and that was the difference. Putting was definitely the difference for me today.'
The two leaders share the lead in greens hit in regulation through three rounds. Both Fernandez and Jacobsen have hit 45-of-54 greens in regulation this week.
Bruce Lietzke, the 2003 U.S. Senior Open champion, stands alone in ninth place at 7-under-par 209 after a 1-over 73. Andy Bean, John Bland, Jose Maria Canizares, Tom Jenkins, Jerry Pate and Dave Stockton are one stroke further back at minus-6.
Tom Watson, the 2003 Tradition champion, climbed into a tie for 21st at 4-under-par 212 after a 4-under 68.
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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.