PGA.com news services
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- John Jacobs fired a 2-under 68 Sunday afternoon to win his first major championship in the 64th Senior PGA Championship at Aronimink Golf Club. At 58, Jacobs becomes the oldest player to win the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy in 25 years.
Jacobs, long known on the senior circuit more for his prodigious driving skills than his victory count, put together a 1-under 34 on the front nine of the final round. Then, after a bogey on the par-4 11th, the brawny Californian sealed the two-shot victory with three pars in a row followed by clutch birdies on the par-4 15th and par-5 16th holes.
Wadkins, who came in second to Fuzzy Zoeller last year at Firestone, by one shot last year, finished second again Sunday at 2-under 279 after a final-round 70, while Bruce Lietzke and defending champion Fuzzy Zoeller tied for third at 1-under 279. They were the only four players to finish under par in the oldest and most prestigious championship in senior golf.
Gil Morgan, Sunday morning sensation Des Smyth and former Senior PGA champion Doug Tewell deadlocked for fifth at even-par 280. Morgan, who had struggled in completing his third round Sunday morning, bounced back with a stellar 6-under 64 in the afternoon, while Smyth followed his morning 65 with a 4-over 74.
Among the other prominent players, Allen Doyle and Vicente Fernandez tied for eighth place at 1-over 281, while 10th place was shared by Tom Kite, who closed with a 70; Bruce Fleisher, who finished with a 4-under 66; Bob Gilder (68); Mark McCumber (68); and Larry Nelson (70) at 2-over 282.
Because of the rain delay Saturday, the field began play Sunday morning at 8 a.m. with some players needing to complete as many as 31 holes on what promised to be a grueling day over the difficult Aronimink layout.
The first surprise of the day came from Des Smyth, who shot a course-record 5-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead over Jacobs and Wadkins.
Seiji Ebihara of Japan held a two-stroke lead when rain forced the third round to be suspended Saturday. But he had two double bogeys and three bogeys, and finished with a 5-over 75 for a three-round score of 213.
Wadkins shot a 68, and Jacobs had a 71, and were tied at 2 under. Zoeller had a third-round 70 was tied for fourth at 1 under.