Jacobs Ties Hatalsky for Lead in Park City
Tom Watson surged into third place with a total of 26 points after posting an eagle and two birdies over the last four holes at Park Meadows Country Club. Don Pooley, who defeated Watson in a five-hole playoff to win the U.S. Senior Open in June, was fourth with 21.
Jay Sigel and Mike McCullough were next at 19 points while John Bland, Bob Gilder, Jim Ahern and Hugh Baiocchi rounded out the top-10 at 18.
The modified Stableford format, which is being used for the first time in this 21-year-old Senior Tour event, awards eight points for a double-eagle, five for an eagle and two for a birdie. No points are given for a par, while one is deducted for a bogey and three are taken away for a double-bogey or worse.
Jacobs exhibited the unpredictable nature of the scoring system, vaulting from a tie for 31st with six points after Friday's action into the lead after seven birdies and two eagles. His second round would have been a course-record 11- under-par 61 had it been contested in stroke play.
As it was, Jacobs' 24 points represented the highest single-day point total in a Senior Tour event featuring modified Stableford scoring.
Hatalsky took the first-round lead with 19 points on Friday, bettering the previous record of 16 set by Bruce Fleisher in the second round of the 2000 Royal Caribbean Classic.
In the PGA Tour's International, the tournament that made the format famous, the one-round record is 20 points, a mark established by Greg Whisman in 1992 and equaled by Tom Purtzer in 1997.
'If I play good, any format is good for me,' said Jacobs.
Jacobs birdied the two of the first four holes, rolling in a 30-foot putt for two points at the 222-yard, par-3 third. He picked up a quick 11 points with three birdies and an eagle on holes six through nine, matching the best birdie-eagle streak on the Senior Tour this season.
Birdie putts from 15 and 35 feet on the 11th and 12 holes, respectively, took him to 19 points on the day. After cooling off with four straight pars, Jacobs heated things up again when he reached the 521-yard, par-5 17th in two with an eight-iron and drained a 10-foot eagle putt.
'I hope I have a big lead at the end,' he said. 'It's going to be a heck of a shootout. The gallery is going to have fun.'
Jacobs, who hit all 18 greens in regulation Saturday, has finished top-10 in this event three of the last four years. His best showing was third in 2000.
'I always seem to have good rounds here, but never seem to get the job done.'
Jacobs captured his fourth Senior Tour title in February at the Royal Caribbean Classic, which returned to its original stroke-play format this year after two seasons as a modified Stableford event. He has seven other top-10 results in 2002, including a runner-up at the season's first major, The Tradition, where he lost in a playoff to Jim Thorpe.
Hatalsky was floundering at the start with four pars and a frustrating bogey at the par-5 fifth. He birdied four of the next nine holes with putts ranging from six to 35 feet, then closed with back-to-back birdies, the last coming on a 25-foot attempt.
'It was a 'blah' kind of day from the standpoint of trying to build any momentum,' said Hatalsky, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour in the midst of a successful rookie season on the Senior Tour. 'Finishing on a good note was good psychologically for me heading into tomorrow.'
Watson hit driver and a five-iron into the par-5 15th green and sank the 12-footer that remained for eagle.
'I had my eye on that putt,' said Watson, who added birdies at 16 and 17 for 12 points on the day. 'I started the ball on the right line and it went right in the middle.
'It's nice to finish strong. It will take another low score tomorrow.'
Steve Veriato, who won this title in stroke play last year, was 61st in the 78-man field with five points for the tournament.
Full-field scores from United Fore Care Classic
Watch that time Tiger throttled Ames, 9 and 8
Nine and eight. Three words that live in golf lore. Just say them and any golf fan can tell you what they mean.
In the 2006 WGC-Match Play, Tiger Woods faced Stephen Ames in the opening round. Ames, when asked prior to the event about his chance of winning, infamously said, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting it."
What happened on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at La Coasta Resort & Spa, was the most lopsided result in tournament history: 9 and 8 Check out the highlights below:
Tiger Woods’ 2006 9&8 win at Match Play over Stephen Ames https://t.co/KlB39aNUZB— Skratch (@Skratch) March 20, 2018
After his win, Woods was asked if Ames' comment had motivated him. Woods replied, "9 and 8."
Woods eventually lost, 1 up, to Chad Campbell in the third round. He then won his next start at Doral and went on to finish the season with six consecutive Tour wins, including The Open and PGA. He also won his first start in 2007 to make it seven consecutive Tour titles.
Schedule change, caddie change for Casey at Match Play
AUSTIN, Texas – Paul Casey originally planned to skip the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, opting for two weeks off before the Masters.
Those plans changed when he removed the Arnold Palmer Invitational from his schedule and returned home to England last week to attend the funeral of a family friend. That adjustment also prompted a caddie change this week, with Scott Vail stepping in for the Englishman’s normal caddie, John McLaren.
“We looked at tickets and it just didn't make sense for Johnny to fly back. We try and base our schedule around playing the best golf possible, but also having quality family time,” Casey said on Tuesday at Austin Country Club. “For Johnny to break up a nice three-week break with his family, there was no point to ruining that.”
This isn’t the first time Casey, who won the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, has needed a replacement caddie. At last year’s Travelers Championship, McLaren took a similar break and was replaced on the bag by Shannon Wallace. Although it’s not uncommon for caddies to take a week off, McLaren does have one stipulation.
“The only rule we have is that if Johnny is not going to work, he picks my caddie. So he picked the caddie,” said Casey, who is 20-12-1 in 12 starts at the Match Play and has advanced to the championship match twice.
Westchester selected to host 2021 U.S. Women's Am
The USGA announced Tuesday that Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., has been selected to host the 2021 U.S. Women's Amateur. The tournament will be held Aug. 2-8, 2021.
The club's West Course first hosted the event in 1923, and it boasts a storied history of professional tournaments as well. The PGA Tour hosted the Westchester Classic, later known as the Buick Classic and eventually The Barclays, at Westchester from 1967-2007, including the first-ever FedExCup playoff event, won by Steve Stricker in 2007.
The course was also the site of the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by Fred Couples, and the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship, won by Inbee Park.
"The USGA is thrilled to bring the U.S. Women's Amateur to Westchester Country Club for the second time," Stuart Francis, USGA championship committee chairman, said in a release. "One of the USGA's three oldest championships, the Women's Amateur consistently identifies the world's top female players, and we are confident Westchester will provide the ultimate test for the championship's 121st playing."
First held in 1895, the Women's Amateur is open to players with a USGA handicap index not exceeding 5.4. Sophia Schubert won last year's event at San Diego Country Club, while this year's tournament will be held at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.
Stock Watch: Park rises again, under the radar
Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Rory (+10%): The massive drives, the fist pumps, the unmistakable strut – McIlroy finally found the spark that he needed to play confident, aggressive golf. Bring on Augusta and his shot at history.
Tiger (+7%): It was another forgettable end to a final round, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture: Five events into his comeback, Woods has now carded 10 consecutive rounds of par or better – all on tough tracks – and can be viewed as a legitimate threat at the Masters. Remarkable, really.
Inbee Park (+5%): Fighting injuries and questioning whether she should retire, the Queen ‘Bee routed a top field in just her second start back. Stud.
Bryson (+3%): When The Machine operates properly, he’s one of the best ball-strikers in the world. Yes, he’s still painfully slow, but there’s no denying his talent – his runner-up against a star-studded field should help him tremendously.
Laura Davies (+2%): Fifty-four years old and nursing an Achilles injury, she turned back the clock with one of the coolest performances of the young season, on any tour. She’s still got tons of game.
Henrik Stenson (-1%): Maybe he’s just destined to go winless at Bay Hill. In the past four years, he’s had three excellent chances to win there and came away empty-handed each time.
Rickie (-2%): Hanging near the lead, Fowler closed his third round bogey-double, then shot 74 in the final round to drop out of the top 10. Sigh.
P-Reed (-3%): His whiny protest to a rules official about a free drop – “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth” – got even juicier when the Ryder Cup partners were drawn in the same group at the Match Play. Get your popcorn ready.
Ted Potter Jr. (-5%): His impressive victory at Pebble Beach over DJ, Phil and J-Day is looking more and more like a fluke each week. He’s now missed four consecutive cuts.
Fan behavior (-7%): Another week, another player complaining about increasingly hostile spectators. The Tour has (frustratingly) remained quiet on the issue, but the tipping point will come when one of these dopes affects the outcome on the 72nd hole.