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:
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.