Jacobson Just Misses Shot at 59

By Sports NetworkSeptember 18, 2003, 4:00 pm
COLOGNE, Germany -- Fredrik Jacobson matched a European Tour record with a 12-under-par 60 in the opening round of the Linde German Masters on Thursday. The record-tying mark put him three shots clear of K.J. Choi after the first round.
Choi had a stellar round of his own with a 9-under 63, but Jacobson made Golf Club Gut Larchenhof his own.
'I think today was just about the perfect round of golf for me,' said Jacobson, who also set a career best with the 18-hole score. 'I don't think I could really ask for anything more. You can't make every putt in the round but I made more than my fair share.'
Jacobson played the back side first and jumped out of the gate with a birdie at the 10th. He then ran off three consecutive birdies starting at the par-4 12th before picking up another birdie at the 17th.
At the par-4 18th, Jacobson hit a brilliant approach that rested within two feet of the cup. He tapped in for birdie to make the turn at minus-6 in preparation to torch the front nine.
Jacobson hit it close again at the par-4 second and rolled in a three-footer for birdie. He sent his second shot to the par-5 third to 10 feet for an eagle and followed that up with a birdie at the par-3 seventh to reach 10 under after 13 holes.
The Swede parred his next two holes before converting an eight-foot putt for a birdie at the par-5 seventh. Jacobson then knocked his tee shot to 10 feet at the par-3 eighth and ran home the putt to move to minus-12.
Jacobson needed to birdie the ninth to become the first person to ever break 60 on the European Tour but the 28-year-old found trouble off the tee at the par-4.
His drive plugged into the thick rough and Jacobson's second shot missed the putting surface. Jacobson chipped his third past the cup and converted a difficult putt coming back to save par.
'If you haven't had any errors earlier in the day, it would have been a shame to finish with a bogey,' said Jacobson. 'So it was great to hole that putt and great to move alongside all the other great players on the European Tour who have shot 60.'
Jacobson certainly has entrenched his name in the record books alongside several prominent names who have shot the mark including European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer, who fired a 60 at this event in 1997 en route to his third of four German Masters titles.
'To shoot 60 is fantastic because I haven't really been close before,' said Jacobson, who has won twice on the European Tour in 2003. 'It was just one of those days when you start off playing well and just keep it going.'
Choi, looking to fine tune his game for his Presidents Cup debut later this year, also started on No. 10 and collected five birdies over his first six holes.
The 33-year-old drained a three-foot putt for a birdie at the third and followed that up with a birdie at the fourth.
Choi added two birdies over his last four holes to finish alone in second.
Darren Clarke collected five birdies and an eagle for a round of 65. He was joined by Paul Casey, Gary Orr, Ian Poulter and Carlos Rodiles in a tie for third.
'I could have been 4 or 5 under after the first five holes but I wasn't, which was a little disappointing,' said Clarke, who won the WGC-NEC Invitational in August. 'But I didn't push it, didn't try to force anything.'
Adam Scott, Marcus Fraser, David Gilford, David Howell, Brett Rumford and Steve Webster share eighth place at 6-under-par 66.

Related Links:
  • Jacobson's Scorecard
  • Linde German Masters Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage - Linde German Masters
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.