GOLF Jacobsen overcomes sore hip to win senior open
Tom Kite had the lead but fell apart down the stretch.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Peter Jacobsen's sore hip nearly kept him out of the U.S. Senior Open. Nothing, not even playing 36 holes in one day could keep him from winning the title.
Jacobsen shot a 3-under 68 over the final 18 holes Sunday and was 12 under for the tournament to finish one stroke ahead of Hale Irwin. Jacobsen was able to rally past Tom Kite, who played 4 over for the last four holes -- including a double-bogey on the final one.
Jacobsen was forced to pull out of two previous tournaments, following hip surgery, because the pain of walking 18 holes was too much to bear. He had to walk 36 on Sunday after rain washed out play Friday.
"I almost didn't come," said Jacobsen, who played his third Champions Tour event. "I came to St. Louis. Boy am I glad I did."
It was the first time the field at a Champions Tour event played 36 holes in one day. Unlike regular Champions Tour events, carts aren't allowed in the five majors.
Kite fell apart
Kite fell apart at the end, closing with bogey-bogey-par-double-bogey. With daughter Stephanie as his caddie, Kite shot a morning round of 6-under 65 that gave him a two-stroke lead. He ended up two strokes behind Jacobsen.
"Coming down the last few holes of a 36-hole round, you can feel the fatigue," Jacobsen said. "It's no fun to do that when you have a chance to win any championship."
Kite didn't speak to reporters after his second straight disappointing defeat. Last weekend, he lost the Senior British Open to Delaware club pro Pete Oakley by one stroke. He hasn't won in 21 months but has finished second seven times. Kite ended up tied with Jay Haas. Bob Gilder was fifth, another stroke back at 9 under.
Jacobsen, last year's winner of the PGA Tour's Greater Hartford Open, rallied from three strokes down with 12 holes to play. It was the first major victory of any kind for Jacobsen, known for his jovial attitude and rapport with fans.
Fun and games
"This is fun and games," Jacobsen said. "I'm 50. I'm a sweaty fat guy, and I'm playing golf."
Kite, playing in a group ahead of Jacobsen, landed his drive on 18 in a fairway bunker. His attempt to get out hit the lip and bounced sideways a few feet away and into a rough.
Moments after Kite's double-bogey, Jacobsen earned his first win on the Champions Tour with a par on 18.
Irwin and Haas, who both have ties to St. Louis, thrilled the hometown crowd with late rallies. Irwin, who has a home just a few miles from Bellerive Country Club, birdied No. 17 to get to 11 under but could only par 18. Haas, who grew up in nearby Belleville, Ill., birdied No. 17 to get to 10 under.
Jacobsen was under par for all four rounds and was at his best Sunday despite the strain on his hip. He followed a 2-under 69 in the morning with a 3-under 68 in the afternoon.
Kite was 8 under during one 17-hole stretch. He was at 4 under during the afternoon round before struggling at the end.
Golfers worked at a slow pace while playing in breezeless 92-degree heat and high humidity. Some, with sweat-soaked shirts, sat on the grass during delays. Mark James took a large chunk of ice and rubbed it on his head.
There were no reports of heat-related illness.