Jacobson Leads Stadler Haas

By Sports NetworkJuly 29, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 US Senior OpenST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Peter Jacobson posted 6-under-par 65 to take a one-stoke lead after the opening round of the U.S. Senior Open at Bellerive Country Club.
Craig Stadler posted a 5-under-par 66 to take second place at the Champions fourth major of the season. Jay Haas, like Jacobson a Champions Tour rookie, played well as he posted a 4-under-par 67.
Jacobson moved into red figures with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 fourth. He came back with birdie at the sixth as he dropped a 7-iron within 20 feet of the cup.
The 50-year-old knocked a sand-wedge to 5 feet at the par-5 eighth to setup birdie No. 3. However, he stumbled to a three-putt bogey at the par-4 ninth as he made the turn at minus-2.
Jacobson's second to the par-4 12th came to rest 10 feet from the cup. He rolled in that birdie try and came right back to birdie the 13th.
He kept his hot putter rolling as he drained a 20-foot birdie try at the 15th. After laying up at the 17th, he hit his third shot to the par-5 to 20 feet and sank that putt to get to minus-6.
'I had hip surgery a couple of months ago,' Jacobson said. 'Hitting the ball is no problem, but actually walking 18 holes has been quite difficult, the difficult part for me on the rehab. I have been doing all my stretches and everything, but I can't tell you how much improved I am this week over last week.'
Jacobson has completed just two events this year. The last one was the Long Island Classic at the beginning of July. Since then, the recovery from his surgery has hindered him.
'I told my wife and my caddie starting off, I'm going to go as many holes as I can. I walked, I did a lot of stretching,' Jacobson said. 'I'm simply in the middle of my rehab, and coming back from being on crutches for five or six weeks I have to learn how to walk again. All the muscles in my leg atrophied. This is a huge boost for me health-wise.'
Stadler got on the board with a birdie at he 13th, his fourth. He came right back with a 4-foot birdie putt at the next two make it two straight.
The Walrus, as Stadler is known, rolled in his third birdie at the 17th. He again made it back-to-back birdies as drained a 40-footer at the 18th to make the turn at minus-4.
Stadler opened the front nine with five consecutive pars. He dropped a 7-iron within 12 feet at the par-3 sixth to pick up his fifth birdie. He parred his final three holes to cap a bogey-free round of 66.
'I played well. I had last week off, which was a good week,' said a relaxed Stadler. 'I had some things I had to tend to and didn't get over across to the British. It's probably a good thing. I've played just a ton of golf the last few months and was really in need of some time off. I took the week off and enjoyed it. I hit my irons horrible all week, and all of a sudden today I get it straightened out.'
Wayne Levi, Mark McNulty, Gil Morgan, Jose Maria Canizares, David Eger, Bob Gilder and 2002 U.S. Senior Open champion Don Pooley share fourth place at 3-under-par 68.
Bruce Fleisher, the 2001 U.S. Senior Open champion, heads a group of players at minus-2. Also in that group are Jay Sigel, Tom Kite, Leonard Thompson, Tom Jenkins, Darrell Kestner, John Aubrey, Andy Bean, Walter Hall and Dan Halldorson.
Bruce Lietzke, the defending champion, struggled in the first round of his title defense. He posted a 4-over-par 75 and stands in a tie for 75th.
Pete Oakley, the unheralded club professional who won the Senior British Open last week, opened with a 5-over-par 76.
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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.'"

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    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.