Archive for Monday, April 29, 2002

Thorpe takes Tradition

Senior PGA Tour event clinched on first playoff hole

April 29, 2002

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— 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. "If this doesn't help the golf ratings, I don't know what will."

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. Thorpe closed with a 70, and Jacobs had a 71.

"We both have plenty of money, but we had fun out there," Jacobs said. "That's what this tour should be about."

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