Jacobs Wins First Major Title

By Sports NetworkJune 8, 2003, 4:00 pm
NEWTON SQUARE, Penn. -- John Jacobs carded a 2-under 68 during the final round Sunday to win the Senior PGA Championship at Aronimink Golf Club. Jacobs claimed his first-ever major, as he finished the tournament at 4-under-par 276.
'I was a nervous wreck,' said Jacobs on how he felt the last few holes. 'It is a thrill to win though. I could hardly keep the tears out of my eyes. To win one of the major championships for the Jacobs' family, I am proud.
'It's not that bad when you're chasing something. It's not like I was holding onto anything. I was grinding to get to 3-under and chasing the leaders. I think it made it easier for me to chase, than for someone to be chasing me.'
Bobby Wadkins finished alone in second place at 2-under-par 278, with Bruce Lietzke and 2002 Senior PGA Champion Fuzzy Zoeller one stroke further back. Zoeller was the only player in the field without a round over-par. He shot 69-70-70-70 over the four rounds.
Jacobs, like the rest of the field, completed his third round earlier in the day Sunday. Jacobs entered the final round at minus-2 after a third-round 1-over 71. He dropped to minus-1 with a bogey at the par-4 third.
The five-time winner on the Champions Tour grabbed his first piece of the lead at the par-3 eighth when he birdied to get back to 2-under. Gil Morgan, who shared the lead at that point with Jacobs and had nearly the same putt, three-putted for bogey on the same hole to fall one back,
Lietzke, playing well ahead of the final group, birdied the 13th moments later to tie Jacobs for the lead.
Jacobs reclaimed a one-shot lead with a birdie on the par-5 ninth. Lietzke then was unable to get up-and-down for par on 15 and his bogey gave Jacobs a two-stroke advantage.
'I had it in my mind when we went to the back nine,' Jacobs said. 'I had in my mind that 3-under was going to win the tournament.'
Lietzke got back within one stroke with an up-and-down birdie at the par-5 16th. Jacobs then bogeyed the par-4 11th to fall into a share of the lead.
Wadkins then got back in the mix with a 12-foot birdie on the par-3 14th. He joined Lietzke and Jacobs at minus-2.
Lietzke fell to minus-1 with a bogey at the last. His drive found the right trees. He punched out, then knocked his third about 18 feet behind the cup from where he two-putted for bogey.
'I hit a bad tee shot on No. 18,' said Lietzke. 'My strategy on 18 was pretty much dictated by being an hour ahead of the leaders. I just couldn't afford to try the one gambling shot that I had, which was pretty much a crazy shot. I decided I was going to try to make a tough par, but ended up missing the par putt.'
Wadkins made a strong par on No. 15. His drive found the rough and forced him to lay up. He then dropped his third within eight feet of the cup and he made the par-saving putt.
Jacobs, who became the 15th different winner in 15 Champions Tour events this season, meanwhile was holding steady. He made a nice two-putt par on the 12th, before two-putt pars on Nos. 13 and 14.
Wadkins, playing one group ahead of Jacobs, had a chance to close in on the eventual winner as he reached the 16th in two. Wadkins however three-putted for par to remain at minus-2.
'Not the first time I three-putted and it won't be the last but it might have been one of the worst times for me to three-putt in a while,' Wadkins said.
Wadkins closed with back-to-back two-putt pars for an even-par round of 70.
'Obviously I am a little disappointed,' said Wadkins. 'I feel like I played halfway decent today and felt like I had a chance to win the golf tournament up until the 16th hole where I three-putted for par.'
Jacobs took over with a birdie on the 15th green. He rolled in a breaking, downhill putt from 25 feet out to get to 3-under and take a one-shot lead on Wadkins.
'I kept looking at the leaderboard and there was a new guy every few holes,' said Jacobs, who earns $360,000 with the title. 'I thought I am just trying to beat the guys I am playing and another guy pops up here and there.'
Jacobs then reached the par-5 16th in two shots and two-putted for birdie and a two-stroke advantage.
Jacobs nearly gave shots away on 17 and 18. His tee shot on the 17th landed on the green, but nearly 80 feet from the hole. He rolled his first putt within five feet of the cup and drained the par-saver.
On 18, his drive missed the fairway well right. He hit a low, cut shot just short of the green and nearly holed a putt from there, but the ball ended within inches of the cup.
The 58-year-old tapped in for par at the last to become the oldest Senior PGA Championship winner since Pete Cooper in 1976.
'Man I was having a hard time keeping it together going up 18 because I got tears in my eyes. I was thinking about my brother,' said Jacobs of his brother Tommy, a former PGA and Champions Tour player. 'He had a couple of chances to win the PGA.
'I was thinking to have one of these majors with a Jacobs' name behind it, my brother would be very happy. I almost lost it out there. I had a hard time getting up 18.'
Des Smyth, who led by two strokes after three rounds, struggled to a final-round 4-over 74 and finished alongside 2000 Senior PGA Champion Doug Tewell at even-par 280. Vicente Fernandez, Allen Doyle, the 1999 Senior PGA winner, and Gil Morgan were one stroke behind that duo at plus-1.
Bruce Fleisher, Bob Gilder, Tom Kite, Mark McCumber and Larry Nelson tied for 10th at 2-over-par 282. Hale Irwin matched the competitive course record of 5-under 65 in the final round to finish at 3-over-par 283, to share 15th place with Craig Stadler, who was making his Champions Tour debut.
Jay Sigel, who is an Aronimink member, came in at 4-over-par 284. He competed in the tournament despite the death of his mother on Wednesday.
Related Links
  • Bio: John Jacobs
  • Full-field scores from the Senior PGA Championship
  • Full coverage of the Senior PGA Championship
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    Teenager Im wins Web.com season opener

    By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 10:23 pm

    South Korea's Sungjae Im cruised to a four-shot victory at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, becoming just the second teenager to win an event on the Web.com Tour.

    Im started the final day of the season-opening event in a share of the lead but still with six holes left in his third round. He was one shot behind Carlos Ortiz when the final round began, but moved ahead of the former Web.com Player of the Year thanks to a 7-under 65 in rainy and windy conditions. Im's 13-under total left him four clear of Ortiz and five shots ahead of a quartet of players in third.

    Still more than two months shy of his 20th birthday, Im joins Jason Day as the only two teens to win on the developmental circuit. Day was 19 years, 7 months and 26 days old when he captured the 2007 Legend Financial Group Classic.

    Recent PGA Tour winners Si Woo Kim and Patrick Cantlay and former NCAA champ Aaron Wise all won their first Web.com Tour event at age 20.

    Other notable finishes in the event included Max Homa (T-7), Erik Compton (T-13), Curtis Luck (T-13) and Lee McCoy (T-13). The Web.com Tour will remain in the Bahamas for another week, with opening round of The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic set to begin Sunday.

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    Mickelson grouped with Z. Johnson at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 8:28 pm

    He's not the highest-ranked player in this week's field, but Phil Mickelson will likely draw the biggest crowd at the CareerBuilder Challenge as he makes his first start of 2018. Here are a few early-round, marquee groupings to watch as players battle the three-course rotation in the Californian desert (all times ET):

    12:10 p.m. Thursday, 11:40 a.m. Friday, 1:20 p.m. Saturday: Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson

    Mickelson is making his fourth straight trip to Palm Springs, having cracked the top 25 each of the last three times. In addition to their respective amateur partners, he'll play the first three rounds alongside a fellow Masters champ in Johnson, who tied for 14th last week in Hawaii and finished third in this event in 2014.

    11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson

    At No. 3 in the world, Rahm is the highest-ranked player teeing it up this week and the Spaniard returns to an event where he finished T-34 last year in his tournament debut. He'll play the first two rounds alongside Watson, who is looking to bounce back from a difficult 2016-17 season and failed to crack the top 50 in two starts in the fall.

    11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker

    Reed made the first big splash of his career at this event in 2014, shooting three straight rounds of 63 en route to his maiden victory. He'll be joined by Snedeker, whose bid for a Masters bid via the top 50 of the world rankings came up short last month and who hasn't played this event since a missed cut in 2015.

    1:10 p.m. Thursday, 12:40 p.m. Friday, 12:10 p.m. Saturday: Patton Kizzire, Bill Haas

    Kizzire heads east after a whirlwind Sunday ended with his second win of the season in a six-hole playoff over James Hahn in Honolulu. He'll play alongside Haas, who won this event in both 2010 and 2015 to go with a runner-up finish in 2011 and remains the tournament's all-time leading money winner.

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    Mackay still a caddie at heart, even with a microphone

    By Doug FergusonJanuary 16, 2018, 7:34 pm

    HONOLULU – All it took was one week back on the bag to remind Jim ''Bones'' Mackay what he always loved about being a caddie.

    It just wasn't enough for this to be the ultimate mic drop.

    Mackay traded in his TV microphone at the Sony Open for the 40-pound bag belonging to Justin Thomas.

    It was his first time caddying since he split with Phil Mickelson six months ago. Mackay was only a temporary replacement at Waialae for Jimmy Johnson, a good friend and Thomas' regular caddie who has a nasty case of plantar fasciitis that will keep him in a walking boot for the next month.

    ''The toughest thing about not caddying is missing the competition, not having a dog in the fight,'' Mackay said before the final round. ''There's nothing more rewarding as a caddie, in general terms, when you say, 'I don't like 6-iron, I like 7,' and being right. I miss that part of it.''

    The reward now?

    ''Not stumbling over my words,'' he said. ''And being better than I was the previous week.''

    He has done remarkably well since he started his new job at the British Open last summer, except for that time he momentarily forgot his role. Parts of that famous caddie adage – ''Show up, keep up, shut up'' – apparently can apply to golf analysts on the ground.

    During the early hours of the telecast, before Johnny Miller came on, Justin Leonard was in the booth.

    ''It's my job to report on what I see. It's not my job to ask questions,'' Mackay said. ''I forgot that for a minute.''

    Leonard was part of a booth discussion on how a comfortable pairing can help players trying to win a major. That prompted Mackay to ask Leonard if he found it helpful at the 1997 British Open when he was trying to win his first major and was paired with Fred Couples in the final round at Royal Troon.

    ''What I didn't know is we were going to commercial in six seconds,'' Mackay said. ''I would have no way of knowing that, but I completely hung Justin out to dry. He's now got four seconds to answer my long-winded question.''

    During the commercial break, the next voice Mackay heard belonged to Tommy Roy, the executive golf producer at NBC.

    ''Bones, don't ever do that again.''

    It was Roy who recognized the value experienced caddies could bring to a telecast. That's why he invited Mackay and John Wood, the caddie for Matt Kuchar, into the control room at the 2015 Houston Open so they could see how it all worked and how uncomfortable it can be to hear directions coming through an earpiece.

    Both worked as on-course reporters at Sea Island that fall.

    And when Mickelson and Mackay parted ways after 25 years, Roy scooped up the longtime caddie for TV.

    It's common for players to move into broadcasting. Far more unusual is for a caddie to be part of the mix. Mackay loves his new job. Mostly, he loves how it has helped elevate his profession after so many years of caddies being looked upon more unfavorably than they are now.

    ''I want to be a caddie that's doing TV,'' he said. ''That's what I hope to come across as. The guys think this is good for caddies. And if it's good for caddies, that makes me happy. Because I'm a caddie. I'll always be a caddie.''

    Not next week at Torrey Pines, where Mickelson won three times. Not a week later in Phoenix, where Mackay lives. Both events belong to CBS.

    And not the Masters.

    He hasn't missed Augusta since 1994, when Mickelson broke his leg skiing that winter.

    ''That killed me,'' he said, ''but not nearly as much as it's going to kill me this year. I'll wake up on Thursday of the Masters and I'll be really grumpy. I'll probably avoid television at all costs until the 10th tee Sunday. And I'll watch. But it will be, within reason, the hardest day of my life.''

    There are too many memories, dating to when he was in the gallery right of the 11th green in 1987 when Larry Mize chipped in to beat Greg Norman. He caddied for Mize for two years, and then Scott Simpson in 1992, and Mickelson the rest of the way. He was on the bag for Lefty's three green jackets.

    Mackay still doesn't talk much about what led them to part ways, except to say that a player-caddie relationship runs its course.

    ''If you lose that positive dynamic, there's no point in continuing,'' he said. ''It can be gone in six months or a year or five years. In our case, it took 25 years.''

    He says a dozen or so players called when they split up, and the phone call most intriguing was from Roy at NBC.

    ''I thought I'd caddie until I dropped,'' Mackay said.

    He never imagined getting yardages and lining up putts for anyone except the golfer whose bag he was carrying. Now it's for an audience that measures in the millions. Mackay doesn't look at it as a second career. And he won't rule out caddying again.

    ''It will always be tempting,'' he said. ''I'll always consider myself a caddie. Right now, I'm very lucky and grateful to have the job I do.''

    Except for that first week in April.

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    The Social: The end was nigh, then it wasn't

    By Jason CrookJanuary 16, 2018, 7:00 pm

    The star power at the Sony Open may have been overshadowed by a missile scare, but there were plenty of other social media stories that kept the golf world on its toes this week, including some insight on Tiger Woods from a round with President Obama and some failed trick shots.

    All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

    By now you've undoubtedly heard about the false alarm in Hawaii on Saturday, where just about everyone, including most Sony Open participants, woke up to an emergency cell phone alert that there was a ballistic missile heading toward the islands.

    Hawaiian emergency management officials eventually admitted the original message was mistakenly sent out, but before they did, people (understandably) freaked out.

    As the situation unfolded, some Tour pros took to social media to express their confusion and to let the Twittersphere know how they planned on riding out this threat:

    While I would've been in that bathtub under the mattress with John Peterson, his wife, baby and in-laws (wait, how big is this tub?), here's how Justin Thomas reacted to the threat of impending doom:

    Yeah, you heard that right.

    “I was like ‘there’s nothing I can do,'” Thomas said. ”I sat on my couch and opened up the sliding door and watched TV and listened to music. I was like, if it’s my time, it’s my time.”

    Hmmm ... can we just go ahead and award him all the 2018 majors right now? Because if Thomas is staring down death in mid-January, you gotta like the kid's chances on the back nine Sunday at Augusta and beyond.

    Before the Hawaiian Missile Crisis of 2018, things were going about as well as they could at Waialae Country Club, starting with the Wednesday pro-am.

    Jordan Spieth might have been the third-biggest star in his own group, after getting paired with superstar singer/songwriter/actor Nick Jonas and model/actress Kelly Rohrbach.

    You'd be hard-pressed to find a more photogenic group out on the course, and the "Baywatch" star has a gorgeous swing as well, which makes sense, considering she was a former collegiate golfer at Georgetown.

    As impressive as that group was, they were somehow outshined by an amateur in another group, former NFL coach June Jones.

    Jones, who now coaches the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, played his round in bare feet and putted with his 5-iron, a remedy he came up with to battle the yips.

    Former NFL and current CFL coach June Jones: A master of 5-iron putting?

    A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on

    Considering he made back-to-back birdies at one point during the day, it's safe to say he's won that battle.

    With Tiger Woods' return to the PGA Tour about a week away, that sound you hear is the hype train motoring full speed down the tracks.

    First, his ex-girlfriend Lindsey Vonn told Sports Illustrated that she hopes this comeback works out for him.

    “I loved him and we’re still friends. Sometimes, I wish he would have listened to me a little more, but he’s very stubborn and he likes to go his own way," the Olympic skiier said. "I hope this latest comeback sticks. I hope he goes back to winning tournaments.”

    Vonn also mentioned she thinks Woods is very stubborn and that he didn't listen to her enough. That really shouldn't shock anyone who watched him win the 2008 U.S. Open on one leg. Don't think there were a lot of people in his ear telling him that was a great idea at the time.

    We also have this report from Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte, stating that the 14-time major champ recently played a round with former president Barack Obama at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., where he received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.

    The Farmers Insurance Open is sure to be must-see TV, but until then, I'm here for all of the rampant speculation and guesses as to how things will go. The more takes the better. Make them extra spicy, please and thanks.

    These poor New Orleans Saints fans. Guess the only thing you can do is throw your 65-inch TV off the balcony and get 'em next year.

    Here's two more just for good measure.

    Farts ... will they ever not be funny?

    Perhaps someday, but that day was not early last week, when Tommy Fleetwood let one rip on his European teammates during EurAsia Cup team photos.

    Fleetwood went 3-0-0 in the event, helping Europe to a victory over Asia, perhaps by distracting his opponents with the aid of his secret weapon.

    Also, how about the diabolical question, "Did you get that?"

    Yeah Tommy, we all got that.

    Ahhh ... golf trick shot videos. You were fun while you lasted.

    But now we’ve officially come to the point in their existence where an unsuccessful attempt is much more entertaining than a properly executed shot, and right on cue, a couple of pros delivered some epic fails.

    We start with Sony Open runner-up James Hahn’s preparation for the event, where for some reason he thought he needed to practice a running, jumping, Happy Gilmore-esque shot from the lip of a bunker. It didn’t exactly work out.

    Not to be outdone, Ladies European Tour pro Carly Booth attempted the juggling-drive-it-out-of-midair shot made famous by the Bryan Bros, and from the looks of things she might have caught it a little close to the hosel.

    PSA to trick-shot artists everywhere: For the sake of the viewing public, if you feel a miss coming on, please make sure the camera is rolling.

    Seriously, though, who cares? Definitely not these guys and gals, who took the time to comment, "who cares?" They definitely do not care.