Monday, April 29, 2002

Thorpe beats buddy Jacobs

Playoff victory gives him his first senior tour major

The Associated Press

        SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN, Ariz. — Jim Thorpe has a new favorite golf hole — the 18th at the Countrywide Tradition.

        Thorpe rolled in a 5-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole there Sunday to win the season's first major on the Senior PGA Tour over cigar-smoking buddy John Jacobs, who missed a 3-footer that would have forced another hole of play.

        “It was a wonderful finish,” Thorpe said.

        Thorpe, 53, won his first major, senior or otherwise, and he can thank the par-5, 553-yard 18th hole on the Prospector course at Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club. In the last two days, he had an eagle and two birdies there.

        Thorpe chipped in from the bunker there for an eagle to pull within a shot of Jacobs for the third-round lead Saturday, then forced the playoff with a birdie on the 18th Sunday after an approach shot that landed 18 inches from the pin.

        “That hole was very kind to me,” Thorpe said. “They should put my name someplace out there.”

        The two outgoing players, who often chat with people in the crowd and joke with each other, finished at 11-under-par 277. “We both have plenty of money, but we had fun out there,” Jacobs said. “That's what this tour should be about.”

        Thorpe won a career-high $300,000 for his fifth senior title, including the Kroger Classic last year at the Golf Center at Kings Island.

        SPANISH OPEN: Sergio Garcia shot a 1-over 73 for a four-stroke victory at Las Palmas, Canary Islands, his second victory of the year and first in Spain as a pro.

        Garcia, who won the season-opening Mercedes Championship in a playoff, had an eagle, three birdies, four bogeys and a double-bogey to finish at 13-under 275.

        GGC CLASSIC: Rocco Mediate, holding his nerves together while battling 30 mph wind gusts, shot a 1-under 71 for a three-stroke victory over Mark Calcavecchia at Greensboro, N.C.

        Mediate had a 16-under 272 total for his fifth win on the PGA Tour and first since the 2000 Buick Open. He also won at Forest Oaks Country Club in 1993, beating Steve Elkington in a playoff.

        “Today I had nothing,” said Mediate, who also had rounds of 68, 67 and 66. “I just felt bad out there. I didn't feel like I could put the ball where I wanted to because I didn't know what the wind was going to do.

        “It was about survival. This was ugly and I just kept going forward and going forward. That's what's most satisfying to me.”

        The $684,000 top prize jumps Mediate's 2002 earnings to $1.487 million and from 21st to sixth on the money list.

        Calcavecchia finished second despite matching the tour record for fewest putts in a 72-hole event. Kenny Knox also had 93 in the 1989 MCI Heritage.

        BMW CHARITY: Charles Warren won his first Tour title, shooting a 4-under 68 for a four-stroke victory at Travelers Rest, S.C. Warren, the 1997 NCAA and ACC champion, finished with a 23-under 264 total.

        Monday qualifier Andy Sanders, three-time Enquirer Prep Golfer of the Year and two-time Ohio state medalist at Turpin, finished tied for fifth, his second top-10 finish in three appearances this year on the Tour.

        FUTURES TOUR: Natalie Tucker of Lawrenceburg tied for 22nd at the event at Wichita, Kan.


Sports Stories
Black jockey's journey spanned different worlds
Baffert's back, but signs missing
Get yer Derby hats
Saarland carries Phipps' hopes
Udder Delight wins 4th Derby balloon race
Hockey's dirty little secret
Isles top Leafs, force Game Seven
NHL suspends McLaren
Peers name Pirtle top Ohio coach
Pig changes not a matter of course
Irish spring game - Gold 3, Blue 0
Johnson gets lucky in his 13th Cup start
Sixers find Answer for Celtics
Team follows Capriati home
- Thorpe beats buddy Jacobs
Coming up this week

Giants 5, Reds 4
Reds box, runs
DAUGHERTY: In Bud we trust
Casey hot over Giants' purpose pitch
Reds notes: Dunn defies winds with 2 home runs
A wonderful weekend for pitchers
Shades of Fernandomania for Dodgers
Yankees win two of three from Mariners
Baseball notes: Chipper questionable with sprained thumb
3 battle for GMC crown
NKAC meet this week