Jacobson Reclaims Lead in Potugal

By Sports NetworkApril 19, 2003, 4:00 pm
ALGARVE, Portugal -- Fredrik Jacobson carded a 1-under 71 Saturday to regain the lead at the Algarve Open de Portugal. Jacobson moved to 5-under-par 211 after 54 holes, one ahead of the English duo of Greg Owen and Brian Davis.
 
'I just wanted to try and dig in today and to stay close enough to have a chance tomorrow, so obviously I'm delighted to find myself in the lead,' said Jacobson.
 
Jacobson was alone atop the leaderboard after the opening round thanks to a course-record 64 but fell four shots off the pace heading into the weekend. He picked up three birdies and one bogey on the front side at Vale do Lobo to make the turn at 6-under, still three shots behind overnight leader Owen.
 
'I played really well on the front nine and hit every green where I had a lot of chances,' said Jacobson. 'I was happy to start off that way and it gave me a bit of confidence to get into the round properly.'
 
Jacobson didn't have to do much on the inward half and the Swede even dropped a shot with a bogey at the 12th but it was Owen who fell apart.
 
Owen started his second nine with a bogey at the 10th and nearly knocked his ball out of bounds at the 12th en route to another bogey to fall back to minus-7.
 
At the 14th, Owen managed to hit his ball out of bounds on his way to a double-bogey. He then dropped a shot at the 15th to fall to 4-under, one behind Jacobson.
 
Jacobson, who is making his first start since injuring his wrist at the Qatar Masters, parred out to take the lead into the final round. The 28-year-old is in search of his second career victory on the European Tour, having won his first at the Hong Kong Open, the second event of the 2003 season.
 
'As for tomorrow, I feel comfortable and I feel happy to be up there,' said Jacobson. 'First week back after 10 weeks out and now after a few more rounds under my belt I am starting to get back into it so I am very positive for tomorrow.'
 
Owen was in control early in his round. The 31-year-old knocked his second shot to three feet for a birdie at the fourth and made the turn at 9-under par. However, Owen's day turned into a disaster on the back half as conditions became more difficult.
 
He regained some of his composure over the closing holes with a difficult par save at the 17th and a two-putt par at the 18th as rain from an oncoming storm began to fall.
 
'I played okay but I felt like I just didn't get any breaks,' said Owen, who posted a 76 on Saturday. 'But I'm still only one shot back and hopefully that's my bad round out of the way and I can build from this.'
 
Richard Sterne of South Africa posted the only sub-70 round on Saturday with a 69. He was joined by Germany's Marcel Siem in a tie for fourth at 1-under- par 215.
 
Phillip Price, who is seeking his third title at this event, shot a 72 to finish one shot further back at even-par 216. Price was joined by Jamie Donaldson, Charl Schwartzel, Bradley Dredge and Carlos Rodiles in a tie for sixth.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Open de Portugal
  • Full coverage of the Open de Portugal
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.