Jacobsen Claims First Major Title

By Sports NetworkAugust 1, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 US Senior OpenST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Peter Jacobsen posted a 3-under 68 in the final round on Sunday to win his first career major, and his first Champions Tour event, at the U.S. Senior Open. Jacobsen finished the event at 12-under- par 272, one shot clear of Hale Irwin.
 
'It feels unbelievable,' said Jacobsen. 'I've played in USGA championships since I was 15 years old. U.S. Juniors, U.S. Amateurs, U.S. Opens and now my first U.S. Senior Open I competed in. I won it. I'm speechless practically.'
 
Tom Kite, who held the lead on the back nine at Bellerive Country Club, fell apart with back-to-back bogeys from the 15th and a double bogey at the last to join Jay Haas in a tie for third at 10-under-par 274.
 
Jacobsen, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, made his Champions Tour debut in March but missed considerable time following hip surgery shortly thereafter. Now the 50-year-old is a major champion in only his third start on the elder circuit.
 
After heavy rains forced the postponement of the second round on Friday, play was backed up on the weekend, leading to a 36-hole finish on Sunday.
 
'I had a lot of adrenaline going today, so I think that helped me. I wasn't too excited about playing 36,' said Jacobsen. 'You have to think of it as a new day. If you think of it as a continuation, then pretty soon you start realizing you're playing 36, and you get tired.'
 
Jacobsen shared the lead with Kite after the second round, but fell two off the pace after Kite fired a 65 in the third round. That advantage soon faded, however, as Jacobsen birdied his first two holes of the final round to reach 11 under while Kite struggled with a bogey at the first.
 
Jacobsen stumbled to a bogey at the sixth but hit his second shot to 7 feet for a birdie at the seventh, and by that point he again found himself trailing Kite.
 
Kite, the 1992 U.S. Open winner at Pebble Beach, reached the green in two at the par-5 fourth and ran home the eagle putt to regain the top spot. He then dropped his approach inside 5 feet for a birdie at the fifth to pull two ahead at 14 under.
 
Kite kept on cruising and knocked his second shot within 8 feet of the hole for a birdie at the 11th. Kite then missed the green off the tee at the par-3 13th but was able to get up and down to save par.
 
The 54-year-old was not as fortunate at the 15th, however, as he bogeyed the hole after his tee shot found a bunker. Kite was in the sand again at the 16th and dropped another shot to fall back to minus-12.
 
Jacobsen was fighting to keep pace around the turn and drained a long birdie putt at the par-4 10th. He then made it two in a row with a birdie at the 11th.
 
After a bogey at the 12th, Jacobsen regained his composure and rolled in a 12-foot putt for a birdie at the 14th. He dropped another shot with a bogey at the 15th, but remained tied with Kite over the closing holes at 12 under.
 
At the par-4 18th, Kite scrambled away his chances and chipped his fourth shot from off the green to the front of the putting surface. Kite two-putted for a double bogey to complete a round of 72.
 
Jacobsen, needing only a par at the last, almost holed his birdie putt at the 18th. He followed with a tap-in par for the win.
 
Irwin, a two-time U.S. Senior Open winner, got to 10 under early on but fell off the pace with a bogey at the fifth and a double bogey at the par-3 sixth after his tee shot found the water.
 
He recovered with a birdie at the seventh and regained another shot with a birdie at the 10th. Irwin then played his second shot to 6 feet for a birdie at the 12th and tallied a birdie at the 17th to finish at 11-under-par 271.
 
'I'd love to go back and play three more, but unfortunately Peter played great. He's going to be a tremendous addition to the tour, and he brings a great personality, a great presence, and obviously great golf,' said Irwin. 'But I felt good today. I'm sure it'll set in tomorrow.'
 
Haas, who came close to earning his first Champions Tour title, almost holed out with his third shot at the last. Haas tapped in for par and a round of 68.
 
'I knew what I needed to do,' said Haas. 'I needed to make a two actually, but a three would have been helpful. I would have had a chance then. You know, I hit the shot in the air. It looked pretty good.'
 
Bob Gilder carded an even-par 71 to take sixth place alone at 9-under-par 275. D.A. Weibring was two shots further back at 7-under-par 277.
 
Fuzzy Zoeller, Craig Stadler, Walter Hall and Doug Tewell shared seventh place at 6-under-par 278. John Harris followed at 5-under-par 279.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Senior Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Senior Open
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry