Jacobsen owns one-stroke lead at Senior PGA
EDMOND, Okla. -- Peter Jacobsen took advantage of his playing partner's inside knowledge of Oak Tree Golf Club to take the lead at the Senior PGA Championship.
Jacobsen shot a 3-under-par 68 to move past Oak Tree member Gil Morgan on Friday for a one-stroke lead in the Champions Tour major.
Brad Bryant shot a 4-under 67 to tie Morgan (70) for second.
Jacobsen, who is looking to win his third major in three years, played in Morgan's group in each of the first two rounds and admitted being a bit of a copycat.
"It's fun to play with somebody like Gil Morgan who not only knows the nuances of the golf course. He stands up there and drives it right down the middle and doesn't give it a second thought because he's so familiar with it," Jacobsen said. "I just try to follow what Gil's doing."
Jacobsen was two shots better than Morgan on Friday and took the lead with a birdie at the par-4 18th. His drive went into the rough on the right side of the fairway but he was able to chip the ball over a ridge and get it to stop about 5 feet from the hole.
"I actually took one extra club and really was playing uphill into the wind," Jacobsen said. "I tried to play about a three-quarter 6 iron and hit a perfect shot."
Morgan, who led by one stroke after the first round, had six birdies for the second straight day but this time had four bogeys to finish at 6-under after two rounds. Bryant made a long eagle putt at No. 16 and birdied the 17th hole to tie Morgan, who Jacobsen called a "hometown hero."
"I think it's great that a lot of people are talking to you and supporting, rooting you on, so to speak," Morgan said. "As you walk around the course that's always a plus for an individual that makes you feel good hopefully. But at the same time I do think there's some added pressure that you're supposed to be able to play well here."
Jay Haas, the Senior PGA runner-up in 2004, shot a 1-under 70 and was three strokes behind Jacobsen in fourth place. Loren Roberts, Tom Watson, Jose Rivero and Dana Quigley were another stroke back in a tie for fifth.
Jacobsen, the Champions Tour's comeback player of the year in 2005, said he still feels lingering pain toward the end of his rounds from two knee surgeries last year and hip surgery two years ago. But he's happy with the way he is driving the ball and hitting his irons.
He had a bogey-free round with three birdies but thought he could have done even better.
"Actually I struggled with the putter today. I missed a bunch of putts that I felt I had good chances to make," said Jacobsen, whose other wins in Champions Tour majors came at the U.S. Senior Open in 2004 and the Senior Players Championship last year. "It's just hard reading the greens. I'm not as familiar with the golf course as Gil Morgan and some of the guys who live here, so I found myself questioning my reads. I think it showed.
"I missed about four putts under 6 feet that I hit well and hit my line but I just didn't read them properly."
Jacobsen, like many of the competitors, is playing the 7,102-yard course for the first time since Oak Tree hosted the PGA Championship in 1988. Jacobsen only had one round under par in that tournament -- a second-round 68 -- and finished at 4-over par in 47th place.
"When I saw I was paired with Gil, I actually thought I was very lucky because I could kind of take a page from his book," Jacobsen said.
They'll be together again Saturday in the final threesome.
Morgan, who hasn't played a full 18-hole practice round on the course since October, has downplayed the home-course advantage in his quest for his first major title on the senior tour since the Senior Players Championship in 1998.
"Although I don't feel like I have a tremendous amount of knowledge of this golf course, I do have a good knowledge of the routing obviously. But with the surfaces being redone and everything, I don't really know the breaks very well like someone would know their home course," said Morgan.
"So I don't think it's a big advantage. I think it's probably pretty much a wash on that situation."
Jacobsen is trying to join Jack Nicklaus as the only players to record their first three Champions Tour wins at majors. Only Nicklaus, Jacobsen and Arnold Palmer had each of their first two Champions Tour wins at majors. Nicklaus' first six Champions Tour titles were at majors.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press