Notes Jake Makes Ace Els Phil Fall

By Associated PressJune 18, 2005, 4:00 pm
PINEHURST, N.C. -- Peter Jacobsen knew his shot was good. Then he worried that it might have rolled over the green, like so many other at Pinehurst No. 2.
 
Not this one. Jacobsen's 7-iron was pure, and the ball plopped right into the hole after a couple of bounces for a hole in one Saturday in the third round of the U.S. Open, the first ace of the championship. More importantly, it was part of a 1-under 69 that put the 51-year-old member of the Champions Tour in a tie for 11th.
 
Only leader Retief Goosen matched Jacobsen's score.
 
'If I said I thought I could win, I'd be lying,' Jacobsen said. 'I thought I could make the cut and play well. I've always been a fairly accurate driver, and always been a fairly good iron player. The U.S. Open is right down my alley.'
 
He hasn't been in an Open since 1996, when he tied for 23rd at Oakland Hills behind winner Steve Jones, so after a victory in the U.S. Senior Open a year ago, Jacobsen was quick to take advantage of the USGA exemption to play at the course where good friend Payne Stewart won in 1999.
 
Jacobsen has other fond memories of the Open, including a 67 in the final round in 1984 while paired with Tom Watson.
 
He also won a fictional Open championship in the movie 'Tin Cup,' taking advantage of an implosion on the final hole by Roy McAvoy, the character portrayed by Kevin Costner.
 
'That's the one I beat Don Johnson and Kevin Costner. That was easy,' Jacobsen said. 'Those guys are like 8 handicaps.'
 
This is the first time Jacobsen played on the weekend at a major since the 1997 PGA Championship, where he finished tied for 67th. And he has no illusions about what might happen Sunday.
 
'This may sound crazy, but just being here this week and playing well on Thursday and Friday and having a chance to play on the weekend is very special in itself,' he said. 'So whatever happens, whatever the USGA wanted to serve up, I was ready to take.'
 
EASY DOES IT:
Ernie Els is badly in need of some time off, and he might be willing to miss two of his favorite golf courses to recharge his batteries.
 
After twice turning potential birdies into double bogeys and shooting a 72 on Saturday, Els said he would skip the Barclays Classic next week at Westchester so he could go home to England. The only other tournament he had planned to play between now and British Open is the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond, and he might miss that, too.
 
'I probably need a good break, come back with a bit of fire,' Els said.
 
The Big Easy won twice in a row at Westchester. He also is a two-time winner at Loch Lomond, one of his favorite tracks on the European tour.
 
'I love the Scottish, but we'll see how it goes,' he said.
 
Els said if he takes three weeks away from tournament golf, he might play some links to get ready for St. Andrews.
 
As for his round, he managed to get to 2-under despite hitting the ball in the rough. He was primed to make birdies on the par-5 10th and par-4 13th with huge drives down the fairway, but wound up with double bogeys.
 
Nothing was more frustrating than 378-yard 13th, where his drive landed some 30 yards from the green. His sand wedge rolled back down the slope, then a low pitch shot rolled back to his feet. He got the next one to stay on the green about 10 feet away and two-putted for 6.
 
'It's just brain-dead stuff,' Els said.
 
PHIL'S PAIN:
Phil Mickelson nearly got the 18 pars he wanted in the third round, finishing with 16. Unfortunately, one of the others was a triple bogey.
 
He lost his drive out of bounds on the fourth hole - a reachable par-5 that is the easiest hole this week at Pinehurst - and reloaded on the tee. The rest of the hole wasn't much better and he ended up with an 8.
 
A birdie at the difficult 16th left him with a 72 and an 8-over total of 218.
 
'I played great,' Mickelson said. 'I drove it the best I have in a long time, and that one hole, it's just one tough hole. The thing is you just can't make any birdies out here or try to make birdies.'
 
And when he completed his round just as the leaders teed off, Lefty wasn't quite ready to give up have a chance at winning the tournament.
 
'I understand realistically that might be the case, but the way I look at it is Johnny Miller shot 63 in the Open at Oakmont, and I'm not going to go into tomorrow's round feeling as though I don't have a shot,' Mickelson said. 'I just feel that I can shoot a low score out there, even though I'll have to make 30-, 40-footers to do it.'
 
THE AMATEURS:
Most amateurs would be happy simply to make the cut at the U.S. Open. Yet even as he did that, Matthew Every still couldn't help but think mostly about what might have been.
 
The rising senior at the University of Florida shot a 3-over 73 in the third round, staying in front of Ryan Moore in the race for low-amateur honors. Every's total of 221 is two shots better than Moore.
 
The margin could have been greater if Every had gotten the most out of his game in the second round.
 
'I felt like I played very well, but I tried my best to miss the cut,' he said. 'The first 10 or 11 holes, I struck the ball really as good as I could hit it, and I think I was 4-over par. That's just what Pinehurst is all about.
 
'I feel like I've done 75 percent of the job this week, but it's just been 25 percent just missing, not holing enough putts and really not hitting enough fairways.'
 
Moore, the defending U.S. Amateur champ who turns pro next week at Westchester, shot 75 Saturday to match his score from the first round, yet felt he played much better.
 
'The difference between the first round and this round is leaps and bounds,' he said. 'Unfortunately, the score is the same. Just a few places that got away from me and that's what cost me.'
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - 105th U.S. Open
  • Full Coverage - 105th U.S. Open

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    Open Qualifying Series kicks off with Aussie Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 4:24 pm

    The 147th Open is nearly eight months away, but there are still major championship berths on the line this week in Australia.

    The Open Qualifying Series kicks off this week, a global stretch of 15 event across 10 different countries that will be responsible for filling 46 spots in next year's field at Carnoustie. The Emirates Australian Open is the first event in the series, and the top three players among the top 10 who are not otherwise exempt will punch their tickets to Scotland.

    In addition to tournament qualifying opportunities, the R&A will also conduct four final qualifying events across Great Britain and Ireland on July 3, where three spots will be available at each site.

    Here's a look at the full roster of tournaments where Open berths will be awarded:

    Emirates Australian Open (Nov. 23-26): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    Joburg Open (Dec. 7-10): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    SMBC Singapore Open (Jan. 18-21): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    Mizuno Open (May 24-27): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    HNA Open de France (June 28-July 1): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    The National (June 28-July 1): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 5-8): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    The Greenbrier Classic (July 5-8): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 12-15): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    John Deere Classic (July 12-15): Top player (not otherwise exempt) among top five and ties

    Stock Watch: Lexi, Justin rose or fall this week?

    By Ryan LavnerNovember 21, 2017, 2:36 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Jon Rahm (+9%): Just imagine how good he’ll be in the next few years, when he isn’t playing all of these courses for the first time. With no weaknesses in his game, he’s poised for an even bigger 2018.

    Austin Cook (+7%): From Monday qualifiers to Q-School to close calls on the Web.com, it hasn’t been an easy road to the big leagues. Well, he would have fooled us, because it looked awfully easy as the rookie cruised to a win in just his 14th Tour start.

    Ariya (+6%): Her physical tools are as impressive as any on the LPGA, and if she can shore up her mental game – she crumbled upon reaching world No. 1 – then she’ll become the world-beater we always believed she could be.  

    Tommy Fleetwood (+4%): He ran out of gas in Dubai, but no one played better on the European Tour this year than Fleetwood, Europe’s new No. 1, who has risen from 99th to 18th in the world.   

    Lexi (+1%): She has one million reasons to be pleased with her performance this year … but golf fans are more likely to remember the six runners-up and two careless mistakes (sloppy marking at the ANA and then a yippy 2-footer in the season finale) that cost her a truly spectacular season.


    FALLING

    J-Rose (-1%): Another high finish in Dubai, but his back-nine 38, after surging into the lead, was shocking. It cost him not just the tournament title, but also the season-long race.  

    Hideki (-2%): After getting blown out at the Dunlop Phoenix, he made headlines by saying there’s a “huge gap” between he and winner Brooks Koepka. Maybe something was lost in translation, but Matsuyama being too hard on himself has been a familiar storyline the second half of the year. For his sake, here’s hoping he loosens up.

    Golf-ball showdown (-3%): Recent comments by big-name stars and Mike Davis’ latest salvo about the need for a reduced-flight ball could set up a nasty battle between golf’s governing bodies and manufacturers.

    DL3 (-4%): Boy, the 53-year-old is getting a little too good at rehab – in recent years, he has overcome a neck fusion, foot injury, broken collarbone and displaced thumb. Up next is hip-replacement surgery.

    LPGA Player of the Year (-5%): Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu tied for the LPGA’s biggest prize, with 162 points. How is there not a tiebreaker in place, whether it’s scoring average or best major performance? Talk about a buzzkill.

    Titleist's Uihlein fires back at Davis over distance

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 12:59 am

    Consider Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein unmoved by Mike Davis' comments about the evolution of the golf ball – and unhappy.

    In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, the outlet which first published Davis' comments on Sunday, Uihlein took aim at the idea that golf ball distance gains are hurting the sport by providing an additional financial burden to courses.

    "Is there any evidence to support this canard … the trickle-down cost argument?” he wrote (via Golf.com). “Where is the evidence to support the argument that golf course operating costs nationwide are being escalated due to advances in equipment technology?"

    Pointing the blame elsewhere, Uihlein criticized the choices and motivations of modern architects.

    "The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate," he wrote.

    The Titleist CEO even went as far as to suggest that Tiger Woods' recent comments that "we need to do something about the golf ball" were motivated by the business interersts of Woods' ball sponsor, Bridgestone.

    "Given Bridgestone’s very small worldwide market share and paltry presence in professional golf, it would seem logical they would have a commercial motive making the case for a reduced distance golf ball," he added.

    Acushnet Holdings, Titleist's parent company, announced in September that Uihlein would be stepping down as the company's CEO at the end of this year but that he will remain on the company's board of directors.

    Class of 2011: The groups before The Group

    By Mercer BaggsNovember 20, 2017, 9:00 pm

    We’ve been grouping things since the beginning, as in The Beginning, when God said this is heaven and this is earth, and you’re fish and you’re fowl.

    God probably wasn’t concerned with marketing strategies at the time and how #beastsoftheearth would look with a hashtag, but humans have evolved into such thinking (or not evolved, depending on your thinking).

    We now have all manner of items lumped into the cute, the catchy and the kitschy. Anything that will capture our attention before the next thing quickly wrests said attention away.

    Modern focus, in a group sense in the golf world, is on the Class of 2011. This isn’t an arbitrary assembly of players based on world ranking or current form. It’s not a Big Pick A Number.

    There’s an actual tie that binds as it takes a specific distinction to be part of the club. It’s a group of 20-somethings who graduated from high school in the aforementioned year, many who have a PGA Tour card, a handful of who have PGA Tour wins, and a couple of who have major titles.

    It’s a deep and talented collective, one for which our knowledge should continue to expand as resumes grow.

    Do any “classes” in golf history compare? Well, it’s not like we’ve long been lumping successful players together based on when they completed their primary education. But there are other notable groups of players, based primarily on birthdate, relative competition and accomplishment.

    Here’s a few on both the men’s and women’s side:

    BORN IN 1912

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Feb. 4, 1912 Byron Nelson 52 5
    May 27, 1912 Sam Snead 82 7
    Aug. 13, 1912 Ben Hogan 64 9

    Born six months within one another. Only a threesome, but a Hall of Fame trio that combined for 198 PGA Tour wins and 21 majors.


    BORN IN 1949

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Sept. 4, 1949 Tom Watson 39 8
    Dec. 5, 1949 Lanny Wadkins 21 1
    Dec. 9, 1949 Tom Kite 19 1

    Only 96 days separate these three Hall of Fame players. Extend the reach into March of 1950 and you'll get two-time U.S. Open winner Andy North.


    BORN IN 1955

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Jan. 30, 1955 Curtis Strange 17 2
    Jan. 30, 1955 Payne Stewart 11 3
    Feb. 10, 1955 Greg Norman 20 2

    Another trio of Hall of Fame players. Strange and Stewart were born on the same day with Norman 11 days later. Fellow PGA Tour winners born in 1955: Scott Simpson, Scott Hoch and Loren Roberts.


    WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1956-57

    Birthdate Player LPGA wins Major wins
    Feb. 22, 1956 Amy Alcott 29 5
    Oct. 14, 1956 Beth Daniel 33 1
    Oct. 27, 1956 Patty Sheehan 35 6
    Jan. 6, 1957 Nancy Lopez 48 3

    A little arbitrary here, but go with it. Four Hall of Famers on the women's side, all born within one year of each other. That's an average (!) career of 36 tour wins and nearly four majors.


    EUROPE'S BIG 5

    Birthdate Player Euro (PGA Tour) wins Major wins
    April 9, 1957 Seve Ballesteros 50 (9) 5
    July 18, 1957 Nick Faldo 30 (9) 6
    Aug. 27, 1957 Bernhard Langer 42 (3) 2
    Feb. 9, 1958 Sandy Lyle 18 (6) 2
    March 2, 1958 Ian Woosnam 29 (2) 1

    The best 'class' of players Europe has to offer. Five born within a year of one another. Five Hall of Fame members. Five who transformed and globalized European golf.


    WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1969-70

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Sept. 12, 1969 Angel Cabrera 3 2
    Oct. 17, 1969 Ernie Els 19 4
    May 12, 1970 Jim Furyk 17 1
    May 12, 1970 Mike Weir 8 1
    June 16, 1970 Phil Mickelson 42 5

    Not a tight-knit group, but a little more global bonding in accordance to the PGA Tour's increased international reach. Add in worldwide wins – in excess of 200 combined – and this group is even more impressive.


    BORN IN 1980

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Jan. 9, 1980 Sergio Garcia 10 1
    July 16, 1980 Adam Scott 13 1
    July 30, 1980 Justin Rose 8 1

    Could be three future Hall of Fame members here.

    Editor's note: Golf Channel's editorial research unit contributed.