The 2005 Senior PGA Championship
A PGA of America Event. Click to learn more

An Interview With Peter Jacobsen

May 27, 2005

JULIUS MASON: Peter Jacobsen, ladies and gentlemen, playing in his very first Senior PGA Championship. High a top the leader board at minus two. Peter, some thoughts on your round today we'll go through your card and we'll go to Q&A.

PETER JACOBSEN: Well, I played well. Very, very difficult on the golf course. The wind makes it club selection almost impossible.

As evidenced by 18. I hit a really good drive and had 188 yards to the hole. And felt the wind right in our fairways, so I thought I would just hit a 4 iron, make sure I put it to the back part of the green. And right when I hit the wind died. And the ball carried past the almost into the well, past the bunker on the left side. So club selection's very difficult in the wind. The golf course I think is great. I told Arnold last night I think this is one of his best renovations. I love the greens. I love the golf course, it's in fantastic condition. It's really a fun golf course to play. We got some really hard holes, you got some holes that you can make birdies on, some easy holes. But great combination of strategic competitive golf.

JULIUS MASON: You got off pretty quick with some birdies.

PETER JACOBSEN: Yeah I run through my card. The second hole I hit a wedge, hit a 3 wood and wedge to about four feet and I birdied there.

Number 3, I hit a very good drive and a 2 iron to the front fringe on the par 5 and just chipped it up about two feet. The 4th hole, I 3 putted, hit a good 3 wood and 7 iron and about 40 feet. Putted it six feet by and missed that. Number 8, great I 3 putted 8 yesterday for bogey. Today I had the a 5 iron about three feet. So that was great to get that back.

Number 10, hit a 3 wood and a 6 iron to the middle of the green. And is just trying to lag it down there, it fell in. That was a great way to steal one there. Probably about 35 feet.

No. 11, I drove it in the right rough. I struggled from there. I had to chip it out, made a bogey.

Number 14, I 3 putted. Hit an 8 iron. That was probably the scariest hole on the back nine. The wind is howling left to right, it's in your face, it's behind you. And I hit an 8 iron on the green about 40 feet and I 3 putted.

Number 15, I hit a really good 3 wood and a 9 iron to about 10 feet. Birdied there.

16, I hit it in the left bunker off the tee and right into the face of the wind. I hit a 5 iron out, short, and didn't get it up and down, made bogey there.

And that was it. So overall a good ball striking day, a good putting day, but a couple of three putts I would like to have back. I've had two, three putts every day. So I've had my share of it, four already this week so far.

Q. You got 10 birdies in two days, that's probably as many as anybody in the field. You got to feel that you're very close to playing terrific and you could obviously be a lot better. If you get the three putts out of there?

PETER JACOBSEN: Yeah. But the most important thing for me is the last two days my left, my right knee and my left hip has felts as good as it's felt since the operation last May. And my knee operation in February. So more than anything I feel like I'm moving better and I'm making a pretty aggressive swing at it. You're going to make some bogeys out here. I wish they weren't three putts. You're going to make some bogeys. But the fact that I've made 10 birdies so far is great.

Q. Talk about the hip thing a little bit. Because it was a big deal. Do you look back and, how did you win The Open last year in that condition? It's taken you almost a year to really get over it. And yet you won the Open right afterwards?

PETER JACOBSEN: Well, I think winning the U. S. Senior Open right after the hip surgery is a testament to attitude. I feel fortunate to be out here on the Champions Tour. I feel fortunate to still have an exemption on the PGA TOUR. And anything from here on is gravy. Even if you know, you're going to have good rounds, you're going to have bad rounds. You're going to make birdies, you are going make bogeys. I'm just happy that I've come through these surgeries, they have been successful, they have, they're allowing me to continue to play and I appreciate that the work that the doctors did. And I think my attitude brought me through reef last year.

Q. Didn't you say yesterday your hip really has recently started to feel a lot better. It's taken this long?

PETER JACOBSEN: Yes. Actually, I can actually bend down now to read a putt. Before I couldn't bend down to read putts. This week I am. So I'm making progress.

Q. Talk a little bit about, you made the big move to Florida. You were always identified with being from Oregon and now you're a Florida guy. How did that come about and how much of an adjustment has that been for you?

PETER JACOBSEN: Well, I grew up on poa annua greens up in the northwest and lived there for 50 years. And my wife and I, our three children are out of the house now. And we thought it would be a lot easier to travel to and from tournaments, living in Florida. And we have really enjoyed our move. We still have our house in Portland but we live full time in Florida.

Q. Do you look at the score board and see Reid, Jacobsen, Irwin, does it feel like 1989 again?

PETER JACOBSEN: It does. It does. Yeah. I saw Floyd. McNulty, Reid. Yeah, it does. That's great.

Q. Does it make you feel young or do you just feel

PETER JACOBSEN: It makes me feel young.

Q. Except for the knee?

PETER JACOBSEN: Makes me feel young.

Q. You had what was that, you got some kind of training device it looks like a stick or something that was on your arm. Earlier didn't you?

PETER JACOBSEN: Oh, on the range? It's a little thing called the Swing Guide. A lot of guys use it.

Q. I never seen one before.

PETER JACOBSEN: Oh, well you need to get out a little more. (Laughter.) You need to get out.

Q. With the swing changes you made recently you look like you're feeling more and more comfortable with your swing. Could you talk a little bit about that?

PETER JACOBSEN: Yeah, I have been working with my teacher, Jim Hardy. Who is fabulous teacher. Just wrote a book. He and I have been working on my game since, well, really the early '80's, but I've been making some swing changes here in the 90s and I feel like I'm a much better ball striker. He's I think he's the best teacher in America. He's forgotten more than a lot of these guys know.

Q. Was it easy or hard to mentally make the adjustment that I'm a senior now, from qualifying all the time on the PGA TOUR was it difficult to accept that?

PETER JACOBSEN: No, not at all. I appreciate that. I appreciate that. The fact that I could play the PGA TOUR all the way and I'm still exempt this year at 51. I feel very important and again, I think it's a lot of hard work that I've done. You're going to see a lot of players, I think in the next five years, keep their exemption on both tours. I think back to the guys like Nicklaus, Palmer, Floyd, Watson, Irwin, who were exempt on both tours, and now it's now I join that category, with Stadler and Jay Haas. I think you're going to see Fred Funk, Scott Hoch, Loren Roberts in the near future, do the same thing. I think it strengthens both tours.

Q. Can you comment on what it means to the field to be here with Arnold at this stage of his career in his backyard?

PETER JACOBSEN: I just appreciate the hard work that Arnold putts into the game still at this point in his career. I think the defining moment in Arnold's career was last year it was at the Masters, his last Masters championship and he sat in the but letter cabin and Bill from USA kept trying to get Arnold to talk about his game. And Arnold said, I didn't play very well, but that's not the reason I'm here. I'm here because of all those fans out here in the world of golf. And I would like to thank them and thank the members of Augusta National for the opportunity to play here. I mean, the guy, he gets it. He gets it. There aren't many people that have got it like Arnold and I sure hope that some people coming up learn from Arnold.

JULIUS MASON: Peter Jacobsen, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much.


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