Jacobs Hangs On for Senior Tour Win

By Sports NetworkFebruary 3, 2002, 5:00 pm
John Jacobs overcame difficulties at the final two holes to post a 6-under 66 Sunday and capture the Royal Caribbean Classic. His 11-under-par 133 gave him a one-shot win over Tom Watson (66), Isao Aoki (64) and Bruce Fleisher (68), who nearly pulled off a remarkable shot to force a playoff.
Jacobs appeared to be in command with a beautiful chip that lead to a three-foot birdie at the par-5 14th. He reached 12-under-par with the birdie and had a two-shot advantage over Aoki and Watson, who were in the clubhouse at 10-under.
Jacobs missed a pair of 20-footers for birdie at Nos. 15 and 16 but ran into trouble at the par-3 17th. His tee shot went right, almost going right of the greenside bunker but he found the sand. He blasted out to six feet and missed the par save but he did drain his tricky three-footer to maintain the lead, which was trimmed to one shot.
At the par-5 18th, Jacobs' drive went left into a hazard, forcing him to take a penalty. He roped his 3-wood from 255 yards short of the green but recovered nicely with a pitch that left him in tap-in range for his par and the clubhouse lead at 11-under-par.
In the group behind Jacobs, Fleisher reached 9-under-par but capitalized at No. 17. His 5-iron rolled within three feet to set up birdie and give the reigning U.S. Senior Open champion a chance to sneak in and win the tournament at the closing hole.
Fleisher also found trouble off the tee at Crandon Park Golf Club but his was right and the ball landed deep in a group of trees. He could not even reach the green with his third shot but he knocked it very close from 97 yards for his fourth.
Fleisher needed to hole his wedge shot to make birdie and force a playoff and he threw his approach over the hole. The backspin brought the ball close to the cup, but not close enough, stopping a foot from the hole and giving Jacobs his fourth career Senior Tour victory and his first since 2000.
'I didn't know whether to hit an iron, a 3-wood or a driver, but I know all my friends that I play with back home, if I hit an iron, they'd be laughing their rear ends off,' said Jacobs, who pocketed $217,500 for the victory. 'I thought, 'Man I got to go with a driver.' And I choked like a dog.
'I hit probably the best 3-wood I ever hit in my life. When I dropped it, I didn't drop it in a very good lie and I thought I better go for the green.'
'John just bogeyed 17, he knocked it in the water on 18 and I kind of wished I hadn't heard that,' said Fleisher, the two-time champion of this event in 1999 and 2000. 'I had an opportunity. I was there. I put myself in position and I couldn't handle it.'
Jacobs was solid from the beginning of his final round. He birdied three in a row, starting at four and added an 18-foot birdie at No. 8. Jacobs parred the ninth but birdied the 10th and tapped in for birdie at No. 11 to reach 11-under-par.
Watson shared the lead, but dropped a shot at No. 15 to fall down by one. He missed makeable birdie putts the rest of the way in until a birdie at the closing 18th.
'I had a lot of opportunities,' said Watson, who holed a 7-iron for eagle at No. 5. 'When it gets down to the short putts, that's where I've been having problems. I let it slip away.'
Tom Kite shared fifth with overnight leader Jay Overton at 9-under-par. Kite posted a 68 Sunday while Overton, a Monday qualifier, shot a 70.
Tom Purtzer, playing in his first Senior Tour event, carded a 3-under 69 and finished tied for seventh with Walter Hall, Sammy Rachels, Ted Goin and Bob Gilder. The group finished at 8-under-par.
Fuzzy Zoeller, also in his first official event on the elder circuit, tied for 51st at 1-under par.
Due to heavy storms on Friday, the first round was canceled and the tournament was reduced to 36 holes.
Full-Field scores from the Royal Caribbean Classic
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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.