Paul Anthony Arco

The Takeaway

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The Junkman Finally Collects

Monday, June 27, 2011


Guess what?

Another first-time winner claimed a PGA TOUR victory Sunday.

Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden shot a 66 to give him a 20-under-par, four-day total of 260 at TPC River Highlands to win the Travelers Championship in his 188th career start.

Surprised? Don't be.

The Junkman, as he is known, becomes the eighth first-time winner this year, joining Jhonattan Vegas, D.A. Points, Gary Woodland, Charl Schwartzel, Brendan Steele, Keegan Bradley, and Harrison Frazar.

Jacobson, T14 at last week's U.S. Open, seemed to be cruising in the final round, thanks to three birdies on his opening nine holes, before he started the back nine with his only bogey of the week. He birdied No. 12 and No. 14, but Ryan Moore was right on his heels. He birdied five holes on the front nine, as well as Nos. 13, 15 and 16.

The score was tied on No. 18, but Moore missed a four-foot par putt and settled for bogey. Meanwhile, Jacobson's approach shot came within 13 feet before he two-putted for a par and joined Bubba Watson (2010), Hunter Mahan (2007) and J.J. Henry (2006) as first-time winners at the Travelers. Jacobson tied Notah Begay III for the third-best score in the tournament history, behind Kenny Perry (258) in 2009, and Tim Norris (259), in 1982.

No one was happier with the win than the Junkman's five-year-old daughter, Emmie, who wondered if her father was ever going to bring a trophy home. Emmie wasn't born in 2003 when Jacobson won three times on the European Tour.

Jacobson has played in 187 events on the PGA TOUR since 1998. He joined the TOUR in 2004 and came up with three runner-up finishes – at the Ginn sur Mer Classic to Daniel Chopra (2007), lost by two strokes to Anthony Kim at the AT&T National (2008), and last year he fell one shot short to Adam Scott in the Valero Texas Open.

With the win, Jacobson moves up to 18th place in the FedExCup standings. It also locked up spots into the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship.

Moore and John Rollins tied for second at 19 under par. Michael Thompson was fourth at 18 under, and James Driscoll (-16) was fifth.

Rollins, who led the field with 25 birdies for the week, birdied four straight holes (Nos. 11-14), and finished with a 7-under 63, when he birdied No. 18, but it wasn't enough as the Junkman finally cashed in.

So, who wins next week's AT&T National? It's anyone's guess, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's another first-time winner.

The Real Deal?

The best story from this week's tournament had to be Patrick Cantlay, the amateur who set a course record with a second-round 10-under 60 – the lowest score ever by an amateur on the PGA TOUR. He finished with an even-par 70 in his final round for T24. Last week he was low amateur at the U.S. Open (T21), and is slated to tee it up this week at the AT&T National. Cantlay, a sophomore at UCLA, may have a tough decision as to when to turn pro. If it were up to me, there would be nothing to think about. He's got the talent to be a pro right now.

Pablo Cruise

Pablo Larrazabal birdied the fifth playoff hole to beat Sergio Garcia and win the BMW International Open on Sunday. It was his second European Tour tournament win.

Larrazabal made a short putt on the par-5 18th after Garcia missed from about 5 feet to add to his victory at the Alstom Open de France title in 2008.

Both players qualified for the British Open at Royal St. George's next month.
Garcia birdied the 18th during his final round to shoot 4-under 68 and join Larrazabal (68) at 16-under 272 to force the playoff.

Martin Kaymer shot a 69 for a T18 with Dustin Johnson (67) and Colin Montgomerie (69). Kaymer will fall from the top three when the world rankings are released on Monday.

British Fever

Ryo Ishikawa will play in the British Open, after finishing T3 at the Japan Golf Tour Organization's Mizuno Open.

Ishikawa shot 10-under 278 at JFE Setonaikai Golf Club in Okayama. The top four not already eligible for the major at Royal St. George's qualified, including Jung-Gon Hwang, Sung-Moon Bae (T3) and Brad Kennedy (5th). Kyung-Tae Kim was the runner-up at the Mizuno, but he was already eligible for the major.

Stray Shots

Jim Renner shot an opening-round best 63, but missed the cut after shooting a second-round 74. Cantlay had a low second-round score of 60, while Jacobson and Kevin Streelman shared the low third round (63), and Thompson finished the final round with 62 and a fourth-place finish. It's his first top 10 in 17 career starts on the PGA TOUR. His previous-best finish was T14 in the Puerto Rico Open. The rookie bounced around the Hooters Tour and the Nationwide Tour before joining the PGA TOUR this year ... Moore moved to No. 32 in the FedExCup standings after his T2 finish. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open, which ended his streak of 10 consecutive made cuts ... Rollins' T2 is his best finish on the PGA TOUR since 2009 when he won the Reno-Tahoe Open. His other top 10 this season was T6 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship ... Streelman is starting to heat up. All three of his top-10 finishes have come in his last four starts ... Brian Davis finally cracked the top 10 this week with a T9 ... While Bryce Molder finished with a disappointing final-round 70, his T6 is his best finish this year ... Erik Compton won the Nationwide Tour's Mexico Open, shooting a 7-under 65 on Sunday for a two-stroke victory over Richard H. Lee. Compton finished at 17-under 271 which pushed his season total earnings to $215,709, putting him in position to earn a 2012 PGA Tour card as a top-25 finisher on the Nationwide Tour's money list. Compton, who is a two-time heart transplant recipient, has made the cut in all four of his PGA TOUR starts this year, including a T25 at the Northern Trust Open ... Jeff Klauk told fans on Twitter that he's going to have shoulder surgery in two weeks. Klauk is no stranger to injuries. He had back surgery for a herniated disc last year, and surgery on his left ankle in August. He's already on a Major Medical Extension.

Paul Anthony Arco can be reached at paul@paulanthonyarco.com


Paul Anthony Arco is a freelance writer and contributor to rotoworld.com. He is host of The Golf Show!, which airs Saturday mornings on WNTA 1330 AM (www.wnta.com) in Rockford, Ill. Paul can be reached at paul@paulanthonyarco.com
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