2005: U.S. Open - Senior Jacobsen gains return trip in 2006

Pinehurst, N.C.

Despite his age, despite the incredibly difficult setup at Pinehurst No. 2, Jake refused to flounder.

“Whatever the USGA wanted to serve up, I was ready to take,” said Peter Jacobsen, the 2004 U.S. Senior Open winner who tied for 15th here, thus earning a return trip next year to the big Open at Winged Foot. Not counting his U.S. Open “victory” in the 1996 movie “Tin Cup,” Jacobsen’s best finish in 16 Opens is a T-7 at Winged Foot in 1984.

“At 51, I appreciate the fact that I got in with the Senior Open,” Jacobsen said. “And I tried to make the most of it.”

Jacobsen shot 72-73-69-75–289, highlighted by a hole-in-one at No. 9 in Round 2. Only one other player, Retief Goosen, broke par that day. Jacobsen played a seven-hole stretch beginning at No. 4 in 5 under par. He made the ace with a 7-iron from 175 yards.

“It was one of those shots, where the minute it left the club I knew it was a fantastic shot,” Jacobsen said. “I didn’t know it was going to go in, but I knew it was going to get close. It was right on line the whole way. It took one bounce and went in. At first I thought it might have hit and gone over, because that has happened a few times this week.”

It was the 39th known hole-in-one in U.S. Open history and the 16th of Jacobsen’s career. (“Fifteen of them I was playing all by myself,” he joked. In truth, he’s scored two aces at the Los Angeles Open and one at the British Open.)

After Round 3, Jacobsen had noted that the U.S. Open “is kind of right down my alley” because “I’ve always been a fairly accurate driver, I’ve always been a pretty good iron player.”

His driver abandoned him on Sunday.

“I thought I’d play better,” he said. “I missed a lot of drives today, missed a lot of fairways. My bogeys (at Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5 and 12, plus a double at the 10th) were just direct results of missing the fairways. I was over par on every hole I missed the fairway.”

Through it all, Jacobsen remained the jester, mock fist-pumping the crowd at the 72nd hole.

“I think the key to my longevity – I’ve been out here almost 30 years – is that while I’m certainly not the best player who’s ever played the game, my attitude has sustained me,” he said. “I certainly look at things like the glass is half full rather than half empty. It pains me to see guys take it so hard and not enjoy themselves on the course and get so upset.”

Jacobsen’s carefree attitude served him well at Pinehurst, positioning him to set the same example on the same stage in ’06.

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