Players with local ties show their knowledge on Day One
Low scores littered the top of the scoreboard, names like Steve Fleisch, Jean Van de Velde, and Rocco Mediate. But it was two players with local ties who were atop the heap.
Both Peter Jacobsen and Scott McCarron ended the first day of the Reno Tahoe Open in a tie for first at 6-under par (66).
“I played pretty well today,” said McCarron, a Sacramento native. “The winds were swirling a little bit out there and it made it a bit difficult to judge distances.
“But I feel comfortable with this golf course. I like it. I’ve been up here since Saturday, getting used to the altitude, getting used to the greens.”
Both McCarron and Jacobsen seemed very used to the greens during the day as most of the lower rounds were delivered by the morning pairings, before the winds picked up. But it was the two in the afternoon who had the best rounds.
Jacobsen, whose company runs the second-year tournament, was paired with one of the top prospects on the Tour right now, Sergio Garcia.
Jacobsen, who failed to make the cut a year ago, seemed to feed off the crowd following “El Nino.”
“Having a to play with him just pumped me up because I think the world of him as an individual,” Jacobsen said. “He and his father are great people. They’re a great addition to the PGA Tour and will be for years to come.”
McCarron, whose wife is from Reno, had a gallery of his own.
“My family is from Reno and I’ve got a lot of friends that came up from Sacramento,” McCarron said. “So it’s been great being out there and having your own gallery. They’re all rooting for me.
“They’re rooting for Craig (Parry), too, but it was fun playing in front of my family and friends.”
Not only does Jacobsen’s company put on the RTO, but he designed the Golf Club at Genoa Lakes. Jacobsen’s play Thursday showed his local knowledge of the course. On No. 4, a par-five hole, Jacobsen stuck his second shot 15 feet from the pin.
On his eagle attempt, he left the putt two feet short, causing the University of Oregon alum to say, “I guess my sports bra is too tight.”
Overall, the 21-year veteran of the tour kept himself in contention with smart course management.
On the par-four fifth hole, when Garcia took out a driver and pulled his tee shot left of the green and finished with a bogey, Jacobsen just laid a iron out in the middle of the fairway about 20 yards short and came away with a par.
He even had a chance to take the lead outright, but missed his eagle putt by inches on the final hole to finish tied with McCarron.
“I really haven’t played well since 1995,” Jacobsen said. “I had a great year in ’95 and it’s kind of been downhill since. I don’t know why. If I knew why, I’d stop doing it.”
It looks as if Jacobsen has figured it out – at least for a day.
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