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Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, January 22, 2000

S E N I O R _ P G A _ T O U R

Associated Press
Senior PGA Tour player John Jacobs, defending the champion
in the Mastercard Championship, pumps his fist after sinking a
seven foot par putt on the last hole to finish the opening round
at 8-under-par at the Hualalai Resort. He has a two shot lead.

Jacobs in
comfort zone at
Senior Tour opener

The defending champion is
at it again, leading the field with
a 64 after the first round

By Bill Kwon


HUALALAI, Hawaii - For John Jacobs, it was deja vu all over again.

"Same score, same course," said Jacobs, who shot an 8-under-par 64 in the first round of the MasterCard Championship that opened the Senior PGA Tour 2000 season at the Hualalai Golf Club.

Same record, too, for that matter.

Jacobs also tied his own record for the best opening round shot in the event's 17-year history. He went on to post a wire-to-wire victory last year and wouldn't mind if it happens again.

"I like it here," said Jacobs, explaining his success at this Big Island resort on the Kona Coast. It was his only win last year.

"How can you not like it here? I have a real nice home in Scottsdale, but if I could stay at the Four Seasons every day, they could have my house."

As for Hualalai's greens, Jacobs added, "I'm 55 years old and I've never played on any better."

Playing with Jack Nicklaus also helped. "That got me fired up. You never want to play bad in front of Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer. It's kind of a treat, too. I never play with Jack in the first round. He's usually with other major winners."

Jacobs, who puffs cigars and pops Ibuprofen for an aching hip from over-exercising, played both nines 4-under in posting a bogey-free round.

"I played good. I don't think I missed a green today," said the long-hitting Jacobs, who birdied all four par-5 holes, two of them with two putts from 20 feet.

The only difference from last year's opening round was the change of wind direction, Jacobs said. "Last year at (hole) 7, I couldn't get on in two the whole week."

Yesterday, Jacobs used a 7-iron from 200 yards out for a two-putt birdie. At the par-4, 416-yard 11th hole, a 9-iron approach shot led to a four-foot birdie putt.

Jacobs took a good-natured ribbing from Nicklaus and playing partner Gary McCord by laying up with a 5-iron on the 566-yard, par-5 10th hole -- their first hole of the day.

"They needled me to death, but I can't tell you what they told me."

Tied for second at 66, two strokes back of Jacobs, were Allen Doyle, Jim Colbert and Larry Nelson.

Colbert was 7-under, but he bogeyed the par-3 eighth hole, his second to last hole of the day.

The 37-player field all started on the back nine because of an early TV time on ESPN.

Doyle, who finished third on the money list last year behind Bruce Fleisher and Hale Irwin, eagled the par-5, 538-yard seventh with a 25-foot putt to get to 6-under in his first look at Hualalai.

"We had absolutely perfect conditions. The greens are immaculate, if hard to read," Doyle said.

In a four-way tie at 67 were Hugh Baiocchi, Ray Floyd, Lee Trevino and George Archer. Irwin, Tom Weiskopf, Graham Marsh and Dana Quigley carded 68s. It was Quigley's 90th straight event on the Senior Tour.

"It's tough not to enjoy anything around here," said Baiocchi, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, starting his fourth year on the Senior Tour.

Only a bogey at his second hole, the par-4 11th, marred Baiocchi's scorecard. He admitted to being pretty jumpy since it was his first tournament of the year. "But I'm pretty satisfied."

Twenty players shot par-72 or better at the 7,053-yard Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. None in the champions-only field was worse than 2-over 74. Nicklaus, who celebrated his 60th birthday, shot a 73.

The 54-hole tournament ends tomorrow with first place worth $196,000.



At Kailua-Kona
First round
Par 72

John Jacobs -- 32-32--64
Allen Doyle -- 34-32--66
Jim Colbert -- 35-31--66
Larry Nelson -- 34-32--66
Hugh Baiocchi -- 33-34--67
Ray Floyd -- 33-34--67
Lee Trevino -- 35-32--67
George Archer -- 35-32--67
Tom Weiskopf -- 35-33--68
Hale Irwin -- 32-36--68
Graham Marsh -- 33-35--68
Dana Quigley -- 33-35--68
Jim Ahern -- 36-33--69
John Mahaffey -- 35-34--69
Christy O'Connor -- 36-34--70
Isao Aoki -- 37-33--70
Bruce Fleisher -- 36-34--70
David Graham -- 36-34--70
Vicente Fernandez -- 36-34--70
Larry Ziegler -- 37-33--70
Bob Dickson -- 38-33--71
Leonard Thompson -- 35-37--72
Bob Duval -- 36-36--72
J.C. Snead -- 35-37--72
Gary McCord -- 40-32--72
Fred Gibson -- 38-34--72
Joe Inman -- 37-35--72
Tom McGinnis -- 35-38--73
Hubert Green -- 37-36--73
Tom Jenkins -- 35-38--73
Jim Dent -- 37-36--73
Dave Stockton -- 35-38--73
Dave Eichelberger -- 36-37--73
Jack Nicklaus -- 37-36--73
Bruce Summerhays -- 38-35--73
Gary Player -- 38-36--74
Jay Sigel -- 37-37--74

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