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January 21, 2003
La Quinta, California
LEE PATTERSON: Maybe just a couple thoughts about how excited you are to be playing so
well, and then we'll pass the microphone around for some questions.
PETER JACOBSEN: Well, this is, obviously being a West Coast guy, I love playing on the
West Coast. I've always loved the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic for the obvious reasons, the
fact that we have a chance to interact with the celebrities and the athletes and the golf
fans. And I really think tournaments like the Hope Chrysler Classic and the AT&T
Pebble Beach Pro-Am are extremely important to the health of the game because we have a
lot of tournaments on TOUR where we just play with the pros only. And I think it's very
important to interact with the people that actually support us and make the game what it
is, the great game that it is -- the corporate sponsors, the people that enjoy the game as
much as we do, if not more. So I'm excited from that standpoint. I always come here, and
I'm always excited just from that standpoint. The weather is always great, and it's a fun
place to practice, kind of renew old friendships.
Q. Is this like the first step in your comeback now?
PETER JACOBSEN: My comeback, I don't know, have I -- where have I been? I don't know if
I went anywhere. I've kind of always been hanging around bugging people.
Q. Do you feel like this is a renewal of your game, that you're on the right track
PETER JACOBSEN: I don't know. It's difficult, you know. I'm creeping right up. I'm a
good two months away from the age of 46. I'm thinking about maybe taking up a paper route
instead of doing this stuff. I'm not sure I can beat Tiger Woods. I'm glad he's not
playing this week. I've played the TOUR now for 24 years. You reach the point in your game
where you probably think you can't win anymore, and then you pop a couple of good rounds.
I certainly not going to make any predictions about whether I'm going to win again in my
career or even break par tomorrow, but I love the game. I love to work on my game. I've
been working as hard on my game for the last 24 years as I did when I was in college. I've
made a lot of swing changes. I've made a lot of putting changes in an attempt to get
better. And I don't know anybody out here that doesn't do that. Sometimes it doesn't work,
sometimes it works to a tee. Put it this way, I'm real happy with the way I'm swinging,
real happy with the way I'm playing. I think everybody knows my game well enough to know
if I putt well, I have a chance to contend; if I don't putt well, I'm not. I think that
probably goes for a lot of players out here. Putting is very important.
Q. Does the game still hold the same luster and priority for you as it did say maybe
five or ten years ago, or has it changed for you in that regard?
PETER JACOBSEN: I think it holds more of an importance in my life because I think I've
come to appreciate the game and what it is a lot more. I've obviously played out here a
long time. I've had a good, solid career. I've been smart enough to keep my money and put
it in the bank. Now, I'm playing simply to win. I'm very content in the fact that I've
enjoyed my time out here, and I'm hoping to play right through to the age of 50 when I go
on to the Senior Tour, and I actually expect to be exempt. I haven't really been playing
that well the last couple of years. I haven't played as much because of family concerns.
I've got three teenagers now, one in college and two in high school; so I'm only playing
between 20 and 24 tournaments a year. And as my wife said, "Just play less, and play
better." But it's -- no, we do have distractions from time to time. And family and
business and different opportunities come along, and you just have to decide if you want
to take advantage of those opportunities or not. I've taken advantage of some and passed
on others, and I'm glad I did -- simply because I've been in the business of golf now for
24 years and will probably always be in the business of golf.
Q. You mentioned some changes that you've made to your game. What exactly did you do,
and did you do that like during the off-season?
PETER JACOBSEN: No, I've been doing that for two years. Making a change in your golf
swing or making a change in your putting is very difficult. It doesn't come quick. It does
come over a long period of time. With my putting, I've been working very hard with Scotty
Cameron up at the Titleist Cameron putting facility. I've gone to the shorter putter, and
I'm putting cross-handed, and I roll the ball much better. With my golf swing, I've been
working very hard with my teacher and business associates, Jim Hardy, who used to play the
TOUR, and I've gotten much more of a dynamic golf swing. I've got the club more on plane.
I used to take the club a little too far inside and lay the club off at top, and I've been
working very hard to get the club on plane, and as a result, I've become a much better
driver, and a little bit more of a solid iron player. And then just, you know, just the
day in-and-day-out work on your short game. Because I'm sure you guys realize this, Tiger
Woods doesn't win his tournaments by playing great iron shots; he's won his tournaments by
showing the magic around the greens that he possesses. He hits tremendous short shots and
he makes a lot of putts, and that's really the key out here. You can ask anybody. A lot of
players hit the ball pretty much the same, but it boils down to short game, and that's
where I've been concentrating a lot of my efforts.
Q. You mentioned your age and you mentioned 24 years on the TOUR. Do you feel like the
old guy can still keep up with the youngsters that are ahead of you on the leaderboard?
PETER JACOBSEN: Yeah, I do. I feel like I can keep up with them. The one thing that
I've always made it a point to do is to get to know the young guys on Tour. I want to be
able to help the young guys as much as I can. Last year, I was a big brother to Notah
Begay and I was really proud of Notah's year lasted year. This year, I'm big brother to
Gary Nicklaus, and I've known Gary for years and hope to help him in that respect. But I
kind of feel like I'm still a contemporary of theirs. I know them all pretty well, and we
talk about golf swings and talk about a lot of different things. There's a lot of sharing
that can go on between a 46-year-old guy like me and a 24-year-old rookie on the TOUR. And
I really enjoy that aspect of the TOUR. I've learn add I lot there my predecessors, Arnold
Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino. It's fun to pass those ideals down.
Q. What is it you can tell Gary Nicklaus that his dad can't tell him?
PETER JACOBSEN: I know how a son doesn't listen to his dad at all. I know my kid didn't
listen to me, I'm sure Gary doesn't listen to his dad. I think having some experience on
your side in this big brother/little brother program is a very important thing simply
because Gary, I saw him last night at dinner. In fact, we were just talking about places
that he could play that would be conducive to his game, places that he could stay, courses
that he may want to avoid because of his style of play, hotels, restaurants that are good.
It always helps to of somebody along the way be able to tell you to not stay here or to
definitely stay there or to definitely eat here, and it just kind of softens the blow. The
easiest part of playing the TOUR is playing the golf. That's the easiest part. The hardest
part is traveling, getting to know the golf courses, getting to know who is out there for
your best interests and who isn't. Especially with Gary Nicklaus with his last name, you
know there's going to be people waiting in the wings to be taking advantage of him because
of who he is and who his family is. Gary is a very smart young man. He sees life very
clearly and he'll be just fine out here.
Q. Couple things, one, you mentioned business opportunities. How many tournaments does
your outfit run now?
PETER JACOBSEN: We do roughly 12 events, official events, unofficial events -- we run
the Reno-Tahoe Open which is the tournament we created last year which is the event
opposite the World Golf Championships up at Akron. We do the Shark Shootout, Fred Meyer
Challenge, the CBS Charity Classic which is Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade's tournament in
Providence, and we are creating a new tournament at Half Moon Bay in the Bay Area. And we
run various other golf events and sporting events. We do marathons, we do cycling events,
basketball tournaments. It's actually a lot of fun. I really enjoy it, and obviously I
enjoy the aspects of running golf tournaments, because having been around for 24 years, I
feel like I've got a pretty good idea of what the players want from inside the ropes, and
after interfacing with a lot of corporate sponsors and volunteers and marshals and just
golf fans, I think we have a pretty good idea as to what they are looking for in
tournament experience, as well.
Q. That and family, you said, were, if not distractions, sidelights anyway, to the golf
game, and you mentioned that you thought maybe you couldn't win again when you get to a
certain age. Was that your position, and how recently and why did you change your mind and
start to work on your game?
PETER JACOBSEN: Well, I've always been working on my game. You know I think -- I think
I saw the -- the game of golf, I think took a real shift when Tiger Woods came out because
Tiger Woods, I think, is the next generation of great players. You guys, I don't have to
tell you about Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods, he's long; he's straight; he's got a great short
game. He's a tremendous putter, and he's got an intense desire to win. And I think that
intense desire to win is I think what sets him apart from a lot of players out here. I
think as you get into your 15th, 18th, 20th, 24th year of golf , you really wonder if you
have the desire to win. It's really difficult. And I remember when Payne was talking about
his game last year, he was talking about how he had to really muster the drive to really
leave his family and go out and compete that week. I remember the early days, and I know
how it is with the young players. They can't wait to wake up and play a tournament. Still
feel like I have the zest and that desire to play. It's fun for me when I go out and play,
and especially at events like this, because, you know it's kind of fun to give back to the
crowd and give back to the people that are paying the ticket to be there. So I think
maybe, you know, when I won in 1980, the first tournament I won at the Buick Open, I
didn't think I'd ever win again. You know, it's just human nature. I think, "Oh, I've
won one tournament, am I ever going to do this again?" And I won twice in '84 and I
thought, "Oh, well I'm done. I'd better go home and get that paper route now."
Who knows. I may never win again or I could break through and win a couple more
tournaments. Hopefully, I'll win a few more tournaments. But suffice to say, I'll still be
hitting my balls and working on my game.
Q. Can you describe the Half Moon Bay event and are there any changes in your
endorsements or equipment this year?
PETER JACOBSEN: Yeah, the Half Moon Bay event is something we really are not too far
along yet. But we're going to have a Monday/Tuesday event because the Bay Area doesn't
have a TOUR event except the AT&T which is down in Carmel. We're going to be having
something in the spring. It will be in the spring of 2001 at Half Moon Bay, and it will be
a combination of TOUR professionals and very possibly Bay Area athletes, and it will be a
Monday/Tuesday thing, hopefully on ESPN, much like the Fred Meyer challenge and the CBS
Charity Classic. With regards to my endorsements, I was with Nike for about 18 years, and
Nike put me on waivers for this year. So I'm wearing these Tommy Bahama Hawaiian
flower-colored shirts, which probably fits my personality more than anything. Signed a
deal with Titleist. I've been playing with Titleist for the last five years because I feel
they are on the cutting edge of research and development on the TOUR. I think they have
the best equipment. I was fortunate that they signed me a deal to play Titleist equipment
throughout my bag. That's the only change I've had. Nothing major at all.
LEE PATTERSON: Thank you, Peter. Appreciate your time.
End of FastScripts