He also will hit the ground talking. Thats been his trademark throughout his career. And that certainly hasnt changed.
A lot of the players that have cut their teeth in golf along with me, players of my age, I think we all understand the days and appreciate the days when we actually had to pay for range balls on the range, Jacobsen said. Actually, I can remember back when there were no range balls and you had to bring your own shag balls. And to get food in the locker room and the clubhouse, you had to pay.
A lot of those players that have those memories are on the Champions Tour, so I know that when I get out there, I'll probably look at a couple of them, like Morris Hatalsky and Dave Barr and Ed Fiori, D.A. Weibring, and we'll look at each other and giggle because here we were at 50 years old still playing the game that we love, and we're playing it because we love it, not because we're playing for money. We're playing for the enjoyment of the game.
Jacobsen, who underwent major surgery to repair a hip in 2001, stunned the golfing world when he won at Hartford last year at the age of 49. That victory allows him unlimited access to the regular tour for two years. The win also provides a pleasant problem for Peter ' how to plan a schedule which will include both tours.
I plan to play the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic until they have to wheel me off in a cart - simply because I think those tournaments are so very important to the future success and the ongoing success of the PGA Tour, for obvious reasons, Jacobsen says.
Winning at Hartford did turn my schedule on its head. I had planned starting at SBC to play full time on the Champions Tour, if I did not have an exempt status on the regular tour. But the win did give me an extension on my career on the tour through at least '05, so I'm going to continue.
I fought for 28 years, as every player does, to keep their card. You see players that lose their card go back to the school. I'm not going to willingly give that up just because I turned 50. I'm going to continue to fight and scrape and see how well I do against the young boys.
He says hes too fat. But he couldnt be happier about his golf game. Working back into shape following the surgery was a major undertaking, but Jacobsens win at Hartford last year is proof that it was a success.
That was a great accomplishment, a personal accomplishment for me to be able to come back from a pretty intense surgery and to win, said Jacobsen.
I don't care if you're 49 or you're 29, when you have a major surgical operation, it's great to be able to come back and win. And having that be at the age of 49 was quite a surprise to me. It didn't shock me because I have been playing well for the last year leading up to Hartford, but it was quite a surprise and quite a welcome surprise, but I'm very much looking forward to the second half of my golf career.
That would be, obviously, the transformation from the regular tour to the Champions Tour. He has lots of old pals out there waiting.
I was in Portland at the JELD-WEN Tradition (last year), so I had a chance to say hi to a lot of my friends - Mark Lye and D.A. Weibring and Sam Torrance and Bruce Fleisher. I see a lot of Champions Tour players throughout the year. PJP (Peter Jacobsen Productions) is involved in a lot of charitable outings and corporate outings, and we hire both PGA Tour and Champions Tour players to compete, so I see quite a few throughout the year.
Because the JELD-WEN is held in Portland ' and Jacobsen was raised and lived most of his life in Portland ' he does not want to miss the Champions major. But that weekend is also the time slot for Hartford, and it is traditional for the champion to defend. Caught in such a vice, Jacobsen had a very difficult choice. But he eventually chose the JELD-WEN and Portland.
When the Fred Meyer Challenge ended (which he created), we worked very hard with the PGA Tour to bring the Champions Tour to Portland, said Jacobsen. It's the first time I'm eligible to play in a major championship in my hometown and it's something that I want to take advantage of. I know I'm probably going to upset the people in Hartford by not defending my title, but I sincerely hope they understand, and I hope we can get the dates changed so that I can come back and defend my title one year removed in 2005.
Jake enters his 50th year a little like just about everyone ' concerned about his weight. His hair is graying, too. But he has a reason to keep his youth as long as possible.
I'm fortunately married to a very beautiful girl (Jan) - we've been married for 28 years - who is in fabulous shape, he says. She does yoga, she walks, she runs, she does everything possible to keep herself in shape. She is so young-looking, she looks like my third wife. I'm constantly trying to keep up with her, and that keeps me young and healthy.
So its on with the golf, as well as on with golf with the amateurs. Jake has made that a golden rule during his days on the regular tour ' never duck a tournament that is played with amateurs alongside. And the increase in playing time with amateurs on the Champions Tour is just all right with him.
I'm actually looking forward to the two pro-ams, Wednesdays and Thursdays, he said. I love playing in pro-ams. It's a chance for me and all the other players on tour to interact with the true golf fans, the corporate guests or the individuals that love the game of golf.
They simply want to walk and talk with the golf professional, and where better to do it than the Champions Tour where you have a chance to talk with somebody who has played on the PGA Tour for 20-plus years and they have victories under their belt and experiences they can share.
Jacobsen is ready. The Champions Tour is ready. And the fans are ready. Are his opponents ready?
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