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June 22, 2005

Peter Jacobsen


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Peter Jacobsen, thank you for joining us this week. You are playing your 15th Barclays Classic here in Westchester. Coming off a great performance at the U.S. Open this week, tied for 15th, hole in one.

Comments about your week last week.

PETER JACOBSEN: Obviously I want to thank USGA for letting me play. I was a Senior Open champion from last year, that exempted me in the tournament. I wanted to make good use of it, which I did. I finished Top 15 which gets me into Winged Foot, which is exciting for me. My wife and I have -- our middle child is in medical school here, studying in the neurology department so she can figure out all of our problems in this room. So for me to come back next year, hopefully I will be playing Barclays Classic next year, US Open the following year and get to spend some time here with her.

Q. What is your mindset coming out of a week like this being in Pinehurst? Are you relieved? Do you feel you have to make more birdies here? What is kind of your mindset?

PETER JACOBSEN: This is one of the great traditional golf courses that we play on the PGA Tour. I love this golf course. I played well here in the past. Finished second the year that Bob Gilder holed that three wood for the double eagle. Had a good week. Finished tied with Tom for second place. I love Westchester. I love this golf course. Loved this whole area my entire life. For me to be back here following what happened at Pinehurst. I don't look at Pinehurst and what happened, all the black numbers, as being a negative or a positive. A golf course is what it is, it doesn't matter if it's hard or it is easy. You throw the best players out there, scores are going to be shot nobody's guaranteeing that there are going to be good scores or low scores. The lowest scores are going to win whether it is plus eight, plus five or minus 25, it doesn't really matter.

Coming here off the US Open for me is only a positive. I feel like I'm on a high. I have been playing fairly well. I'm actually very happy. I had knee surgery the end of February. I had hip surgery last year and was on crutches. My left hip was the one that was operated so I was on my right leg for two months, non-weight bearing. The doctor said, watch it, you might screw up your right knee, which I did. I had the surgery in February. So I am just happy I am coming back into shape, golf shape actually, having a chance to play some good golf.

Q. Do you feel like the depth on this Tour, is there more depth now than there was five years ago or are there more guys that feel they can win than a few years ago

PETER JACOBSEN: Absolutely. I think I'm a golf fan first and foremost. I watch it, I played the Tour and I watch it now as I'm starting to transition now toward the Champions Tour. I analyze it and study it closer than I ever have. I am so exited by the future of PGA Tour because there are so many good players. So many good players from this country and from around the world. I love to look at two players this week, Spencer Levine and Ryan Moore, two players who could probably -- could attain a win in this first year. I know Ryan has the game to win a PGA Tour event. He is a lot like Tiger was when he came out. He is looking to win a tournament.

There is more depth now than there has ever been on the PGA Tour.

Q. There are more guys like Moore in the sense they are not just there to contend?

PETER JACOBSEN: The toughest part for these kids is access. The toughest part is getting on the Tour. If you are an American, it is even tougher. You have two choices; you can either go to Europe and play in Europe and get your card and as a lot of players have done get your world ranking high enough to get into the top events here or you have to go through the Tour school, the Nationwide Tour access, which has proven to be very, very difficult.

Q. That being said, in your opinion, just how hard is it to win out here?

PETER JACOBSEN: It is very difficult. Especially when you have some top flight players that are dominating right now, talking about the Big 5 everybody excludes Retief Goosen, you've got Ernie Els, and Furyk, Mickelson and Tiger. And you've got Retief Goosen, you can't ignore someone like Michael Campbell who has been around the golf scene for a long time. I have known Michael for many, many years, a very talented player. It is very hard to win. Then you throw in players that are there every week, Stewart Cink, KJ Choi. These guys win tournaments not on a repetitive basis like Tiger, Vijay, Els or Mickelson, but it is very hard to win, when you get yourself in a position you have to take advantage of it.

Q. Is it more of a philosophy if it's your week, it is your week? Can you force yourself into the winner's circle just by hard work?

PETER JACOBSEN: I think you can force yourself into the winner's circle by hard work. I think that is what happened from a lot of players. Tiger distances himself from the pack. You saw Michelson, Retief, Vijay, you saw all the players try to shorten that gap by hard work. I knew Phil had a bad week at Pinehurst last week. The preparation he does at major championships and PGA Tour in general is very impressive. It goes to show you hard work pays off.

Q. You said something at the open about having 18 holes in one?


Q. I'm sorry, 16.

PETER JACOBSEN: Next question.

Q. Could you, if I gave you a pad and a pen, could you even list all of them; do you remember them all?

PETER JACOBSEN: I remember a lot of them. I remember a lot -- the ones that stick out in my mind are the ones that happens in competition. I remember one on the 11th hole, the British Open, maybe in the '80s. '80, '84, something like that. I remember something like -- 1990 I made a hole in one on the 14th hole at the Riviera and I was playing with Fuzzy. Fuzzy's ball goes up and stops like that. My ball goes in the hole and there was a car on the back of the tee and I jumped in the car and pretended I was going to drive off, that got some attention. I also made one on the sixth hole at the Riviera during the LA Open as well. I remember my first hole in one was Gearhart Golf Club when I was 14 years old. There have been a lot of them in there. Again, that number just sticks in your head. I made one at the Bob Hope Classic that pops in my head right now playing Bermuda Dunes.

Q. Does that strike you as a big number?

PETER JACOBSEN: No, I play a lot of golf. Percentages, the more golf you play, the average is going to go up.

Q. That doesn't work for most of us.

PETER JACOBSEN: The type I got -- I told Bob Costas in the interview room it really helped me years ago when you told me get my irons in the air, that really improved my game to make more hole in ones.

Q. There is talk about maybe cutting back the number of events and consolidating, what do you think about that?

A. I think that would be a huge mistake. First and foremost, the PGA Tour has always been a service organization to the community and the charities that are involved in the PGA Tour. Let's not forget that every community we go to, there are literally a thousand or 1,500 volunteers that volunteer their time and give of us their days for us to be able to play golf. When you're out on the golf course and you see the volunteers holding the "quiet please" signs and holding the ropes. Last week at the US Open there was a couple of bottlenecks, as you know, and the volunteers were helping the players cross and get through people. That is a lot of work and they're volunteering their time. They're volunteering their time for one reason; they want to be able to help their community through the charitable donations. When you are talking about some of the tournaments that we play around that country that doesn't get the attention that the US Open does or a Barclays Classic, there are still hundreds of thousands of dollars that are generated through these charities to those communities. We would not only be doing a disservice to the communities and charities, but a huge disservice to the PGA Tour. Those people have donated a lot of time and effort in support of those charities. I would hate for us to roll the schedules back.

Q. What do you think of the guys that are talking about doing it?

PETER JACOBSEN: I haven't heard any guys talking about this. I've read about it in the paper. I really haven't heard any players say this. Maybe you have, you can enlighten me.

Q. Earlier in the year Tiger was talking about it.

PETER JACOBSEN: Tiger only plays 18 or 19 tournaments. Phil plays 20, 21. There are how many tournaments on the schedule?


PETER JACOBSEN: 49, 48 this year.

Q. A few more than they play?

PETER JACOBSEN: There is a lot more out there than what they play. I think we are reaching a point in the history of our PGA Tour, where I think you should institute that you have to play once every four or five years in each event. I think that is an imperative thing for us. In the future I think it is something we should take a hard look at.

Q. They do it in the LPGA.

PETER JACOBSEN: I think we should do it too.

Q. I was just going to ask you how it feels to be in your 50s and yet still be competitive.

PETER JACOBSEN: My back is a little stiff right now and my right knee is killing me.

The next part of your question?

Q. And still be competitive on this Tour?

PETER JACOBSEN: It is a dream come true. I got my card when I was 22 years old. I was not Ryan Moore or Tiger Woods, I was just hoping to play well my first year and keep my card. That is the big deal, keeping your card. I won in 1980. If you told me I would still be playing on this Tour in '05, I would have probably called a paddy wagon and had you certified. When I won in '03 it was an amazing accomplishment for me. I want to take advantage of my exemption last year in '04 and this year in '05. This is my last PGA Tour events until Disney. We got some fantastic tournaments on the Champions Tour, Senior Open, British Senior Open. Great new event at Pebble, called First Tee Open, which was the best tournament I think I ever played in. It compared Champions Tournament with Amateurs and kids out of the First Tee Program. It is an amazing tournament. So there are some tournaments I am going to be playing and then I will come back to the regular Tour in Disney at the end of this year. I probably won't make 125 -- well, when I win this tournament I will be exempt in a couple more years.

Q. Peter, how much has Jim Hardy's work and what you have been doing on this one plain and two plain, has that helped you out a lot recently?

PETER JACOBSEN: Jim Hardy and I met in 1983 or '84. Jim played the Tour, went to Oklahoma State, played the Tour for 12 years, has always been a great golf mind, not just golf swing but golf course design and golf administration, and at the time he had a theory of everyone fits into a category of one-plane swing and a two-plane swing. I'm a two-plane swing. He explained it to me, that is what he taught me until '90, '92. My game was going this way and he said, I think it is time to change you to a one-plane swing because the two-plane swing you can do when you are young, you have a lot of flexibility. He turned me into a one-plane swinger which is a lot easier on your body. Without his mentoring and without his knowledge I probably wouldn't be playing the Tour to this day. He just wrote a book called The Plain Truth for Golfers. It is an instructional book. I think it is the most impactful teaching book that I've read and seen on the market since Ben Hogan's Five Fundamentals.

Q. (Inaudible).

PETER JACOBSEN: I've got McCarron and Azinger and Olin Brown and Tom Pernice involved with Jim and they swear by him, he is a very knowledgeable guy.

Q. First tournament after US Open, is there a significant putting adjustment?

PETER JACOBSEN: Yeah, you actually can be aggressive and try to make some. I think that is the biggest adjustment.

At the US Open, any US Open and I think Augusta, which would hold true for the Masters as well, you are really hitting a lot of lag putts as I heard Tiger talk about in his press conferences last week, a lot of times you are 40 feet and you are happy to hit a green. Say you're on the second hole at Pinehurst and you're putting the ball on the putting surface, which is a great feat in itself, and you're 40 feet and you got 10 feet of break and you know if you hit it too hard it runs off the green. You try to lag it to a five or six foot circle and make your second putt for par. So there is a lot of strategy when you get on the greens. I don't think you'll have as much strategy on the greens as much as Pinehurst. Having said that, I think these are a collection of some of the classically designed greens we play on in golf. This golf here has a combination of greens that would scare anybody. Coming from Pinehurst, they are going to look a little bit kinder and softer.

Q. (Inaudible)

PETER JACOBSEN: Yes, whenever you got slope, I mean slope to be left to right tilt, undulation would be moundings. Any time you have slope and you have a pin on the downside or side of your slope and you are putting at a different angle, you are fearful of knocking a ball too far by and lagging it off the green. I remember Pinehurst, I had a put on No. 5. Again, which is another hole if you hit the putt on the green I had a 20-footer right uphill and I left it that far short. And somebody from the crowd said, "Hit it." And I said, "I am fine, thank you very much." Stressless golf at Pinehurst, if you can do that, you are just fine.

End of FastScripts.

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