Jacobsen perseveres to play


POSTED: Saturday, January 23, 2010

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii » Peter Jacobsen has spent more time in the hospital and in rehab sessions the past three years than on a golf course, so when he opened with a 5-under 67 yesterday it was cause for celebration.

Paired with Hall of Famer Gary Player, Jacobsen carded seven birdies and two bogeys. He is tied for eighth entering today's second round.

“;I'm really excited,”; Jacobsen said. “;From where I've come from with all the surgical procedures, I proved to myself that I love the game of golf and I love to compete. I really persevered and I really fought hard to get back to where I am. And I'm not all the way back. I'm still doing a lot of exercise and a lot of rehab.”;

Over the last three years, Jacobsen has had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, and surgeries for left hip replacement and right knee replacement. A lot of other men at age 55 might call it a career, but not Jacobsen. He enjoys being out on the course too much.

“;I love the tour and I love the guys out here,”; Jacobsen said. “;I love the experience. I love the amateur players. I love the marshals, the people who are involved in the game, both inside and outside the ropes. I really like that part of the game.

“;It means a lot for me to be able to get back and compete. Winning a tournament would be fantastic. But for me right now, to be able to put some good rounds under my belt and build my strength. And building back to being competitive is all I'm looking for.”;


Pavin has Cup on his mind

Corey Pavin isn't going to spend a lot of time on the PGA Tour this year, despite being the Ryder Cup captain for the American team.

His plan right now is to play in six events on the regular tour and as many as 18 on the Champions Tour. Pavin's wife, Lisa, is doing a lot of the behind-the-scenes work in preparation for the Ryder Cup, which the European team will host in Wales this year.

“;I may show up in a few PGA Tour events that I'm not in just to have a few chats with some people,”; Pavin said.

Pavin, who shot a 5-under 67 yesterday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, is not feeling any pressure as captain—that's not his style. But that doesn't mean the Ryder Cup is not on his mind.

“;I'm not really one to stress out about stuff like that,”; Pavin said. “;I do think about it a lot. It's not a stressful thing. I think when the Ryder Cup comes up, I'll be extremely prepared for anything that comes along.”;

Is there anyone on the Champions Tour who might make the cut?

“;Potentially, a guy like Tom Lehman, who is playing both tours,”; Pavin said. “;But you've got to be playing the regular tour. Whatever guys who are going back and forth a little bit certainly have an opportunity, but it would be pretty difficult I would think.”;

Pavin enters today's second round tied for eighth with several other golfers. This is his first Champions Tour event and he couldn't be happier being back with his peers.

“;I'm having a lot of fun already,”; Pavin said. “;But my goal is to be competitive and hopefully win a few events. I'm definitely going to play more out here and play in a few more tournaments there to stay in touch with the guys and talk with them.”;


Thorpe gets year in prison

Champions Tour player Jim Thorpe has been sentenced to a year in prison for failing to pay more than $2 million in income taxes.

Thorpe's attorney, Mark Horwitz, said yesterday that Thorpe must turn himself in to authorities by April 1. The 60-year-old player also was sentenced to two years of supervised release and 200 hours of community service. He must try to repay the taxes while he's on supervised release.

In September, Thorpe pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to pay income taxes and faced up to two years in prison.

Horwitz said Thorpe “;has accepted his punishment and will be getting on with his life.”;

Thorpe has 13 Champions Tour victories after winning three times on the PGA Tour.

“;While it is unfortunate and regrettable that this is the final resolution, Jim has taken responsibility for his actions and has expressed his remorse,”; the PGA Tour said in a statement.


Inside the numbers

The scoring average the first day was a blistering 68.944, with 22 players shooting in the 60s. Only three golfers shot over par. The hardest hole was the par-3 fifth with a scoring average of 3.500. There was one birdie by R.W. Eaks, 22 pars, eight bogeys, four double bogeys and one triple by Lehman.

Lehman said he hit his first shot in the bunker, skulled his second shot out of the bunker and into the water. Took a drop in the bunker, hit his fourth shot on the green and two putted for a triple. The easiest hole was the par-5 seventh at 4.250 with three eagles, 21 birdies and 12 pars.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.