Jake Lightens It Up on Way to Win

By George WhiteAugust 3, 2004, 4:00 pm
Ive always suspected Peter Jacobsen just might have the right idea here. Being a professional golfer doesnt necessarily mean its 24-hour seriousness. A little humor, a little soft-shoe, and what do you know ' he wins the U.S. Senior Open!
 
Theres obviously a lot of men ' and women ' who cant handle the frivolity. No sir, this is serious stuff. Johnny Miller said on the Saturday telecast, 'Happy-go-lucky guys, this isn't fun and games, you've got to bear down.'
 
To which Jacobsen said, 'No, Johnny, this is fun and games.'
 
Jake isnt just a breath of fresh air ' hes a jet engines worth. He gets great enjoyment from his work. Its pedal-to-the-metal stuff, of course, but cmon ' he realizes he isnt Dr. Schweitzer here. The sun is going to come peeking out at 6:30 tomorrow, whether he wins or loses. No one is going to die because he makes a bogey. The Colin Montgomeries of golf have their own way of dealing with a bad round or a bad tournament. And Jacobsen has his.
 
Maybe its because he has dealt with a number of injuries and come out the other side smiling. He has a ruptured disc in his back that has caused him untold hours of woe. Hes been troubled by inflamed sinuses, has a toxic reaction to certain golf course chemicals, discovered he is allergic to wheat and dairy products. In late April of this year, he underwent a major hip operation.
 
Or maybe its because he has been visited so often by personal tragedy. His brother died of AIDs. His father died of cancer. Payne Stewart was a chum and singing buddy. His partner at Pebble Beach for 16 years was Jack Lemmon, who died a couple of years ago. And somehow, he came through the other side of all those tragedies with his sanity.
 
And somehow, nothing in the world is all that serious. Jacobsen has learned that he can absorb those body blows. He knows what life is all about, and this side of life ' hey, he can handle it. Its only golf. And golf is nothing more than a diversion.
 
Were only concentrating on a shot for about a minute, Jake once said. I mean, you have about 30 seconds of preparation and another 30 seconds to hit your shot.
 
So if you look at it, if you hit 70 shots out there, thats 70 minutes of concentration. And youre out there for five hours. I hope my mind wanders. I want it to wander, because if Im out there in some sort of stupor for five hours, I dont think your play is going to be that good.
 
So he goes about his life now determined not to let the seriousness of it all get to him. And some people think hes just one big joke dressed in a clown suit. But he has shed tears, lots of them, for a lot of good reasons. He has agonized quietly over his shortcomings on the golf course. And Miller missed the mark by a mile when he opined that maybe Jacobsen was too light-hearted to win a senior major.
 
Im 50, I'm a sweaty fat guy and people are watching me, Jake said after winning Sunday in St. Louis. Golf is a game, it's fun to play. It's no fun when you make bogeys, but it's exhilarating for me to be competing at a high level, no matter which tour you're on. I wanted to prove him (Miller) wrong. I wanted to go out there and have some fun and win the tournament.
 
So, despite the personal hardships, Jacobsen is determined that he is going to enjoy life. And along the way, he hopes to play some pretty good golf.
 
Listen to his philosophies of putting:
 
I look at it like a flow chart ' Step one, hit the putt. Step two, pull it out of the hole and repeat step one.

I know that may be difficult to follow. This is a hard game. It's a hard game. The putt I missed on 4 (Sunday) - I three-putted No. 4, I hit a good 4-wood in there, 5-wood in there, putted up like that and the putt did a horseshoe all the way around. I just said, Wow, that didn't want to go until the hole, or something like that to my caddie, and he said, Well, let's just go on. We've got more holes to play.
 
So you can see where its going to take a lot more than hip surgery to get this guy down. He doesnt understand everything that has happened to him, hes not familiar with the medical journals, but he doesnt have to. All he knows is that he just won an awfully big tournament, and he doesnt really care to know why he could do it so soon after hip surgery.
 
I don't know - I honestly don't know, he said. A positive attitude, not getting down on myself, not making too much of this surgery and the rehab.
 
But I came here with - I guess I'm just - I don't carry these things with me. I guess I'm different. I let things go.
 
So life will go on for Peter Jacobsen, exactly as its gone on for the past 50 years. Hell win a few, hell lose a few more, but one thing for certain ' hell be sure to smell the roses along the way.
 
How many of you read Golf in the Kingdom where it says in the book, It is all in the walking?
 
It is like life. If you cant enjoy the times in between golf shots, youre going to have a pretty difficult life, said Jacobsen.
 
He will take life as it comes, shake off the heartbreak and somehow smile through all the pain. He appreciates Johnny Miller ' really, he does ' and he goes through his day-to-day world refusing to bad-mouth anyone.
 
Is he a phony? Of course he isnt. He has simply learned that nothing is worth getting stressed out. That is Peter Jacobsen, and he can whistle though the darkness anytime in my world.
 
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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

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."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

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.

“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

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

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.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


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.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm