Golf

Ryder Cup week brings back fond memories for 1965 U.S. team member

Fans watch from a grandstand on the second hole during a practice round for the Ryder Cup golf tournament Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.
Fans watch from a grandstand on the second hole during a practice round for the Ryder Cup golf tournament Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. AP

Tommy Jacobs will follow the Ryder Cup this weekend, as he has every other year since he helped the United States beat a British-only team in 1965.

His memories of that 19.5-12.5 American win at England’s Royal Birkdale will become a little more vivid during the competition, as they always do. The camaraderie among his teammates in particular, as well as the U.S. team’s determination to continue its early domination of the event.

He was always great, always gracious, always a gentleman.

Tommy Jacobs, on Arnold Palmer

“We took the Ryder Cup as serious then as they do now,” he said. “Just because we were favored doesn’t mean we were slacking. We went out there and tried to knock their brains out.”

Jacobs, then a 30-year-old Ryder Cup rookie, did his part, teaming with Don January for two wins and splitting two singles matches for three U.S. points. It was his only Ryder Cup appearance.

After his wife’s death, Jacobs moved from North Carolina to El Dorado Hills two years ago to live with his son, Keith. Now 81, the four-time PGA Tour winner and two-time major championship runner-up (1964 U.S. Open and 1966 Masters) hasn’t played much golf recently as he’s dealt with family health issues. But he plans to get back out there soon, likely at Rancho Murieta.

He will be reminded often this weekend about the passing of Arnold Palmer, a 1965 Ryder Cup teammate. The memories will be fond, to no one’s surprise.

“He was always great, always gracious, always a gentleman,” Jacobs said.

One thing he doesn’t want to hear is excuses from the American team if things don’t go their way, which they haven’t in recent Ryder Cups. The incessant talk of a need for chemistry among playing partners is “all kind of garbage,” he said.

“We just have to play better.”

Grizzlies on the prowl – Granite Bay High School’s girls are giving notice they will be a postseason force, maybe at the state level.

The Grizzlies are 7-0 in dual matches and won the first Sierra Foothill League tournament this week by 10 shots over Oak Ridge, possibly the Sacramento area’s second-best team. They finished second among 15 teams in the season-opening, high-caliber Poppy Ridge Invitational. They were 4 over par as a team in one match.

“The scores we’re shooting are pretty scary how good they are,” coach Jason Sitterud said.

Junior Sienna Lyford shot the lowest score in school history, a 4-under 68 at Diamond Oaks in the SFL tournament. That followed a 4-under 32 for nine holes at Whitney Oaks.

Senior Danielle Dollesin is flanked in the starting lineup by sophomores Hailey Rietz, Yena Jang, Vanessa Richani and Deborah Dollesin.

We took the Ryder Cup as serious then as they do now. Just because we were favored doesn’t mean we were slacking. We went out there and tried to knock their brains out.

Tommy Jacobs

“They’re all so consistent, 2-3 over in every match,” Sitterud said. “We have a nice little two-year window. We just need to keep the girls fed and happy.”

Et cetera – Folsom’s Emilee Hoffman, a freshman at Texas, won the Lady Paladin Invitational in Greenville, S.C. In her second collegiate tournament, Hoffman opened with a school-record 7-under 65.

▪ Sacramento’s Cameron Champ, a junior at Texas A&M, won the Fighting Illini Invitational in Olympia Fields, Ill., for his first collegiate victory. Granite Bay’s Bryan Baumgarten, a freshman at Illinois, tied for 15th for the victorious Illini.

▪ Cool’s Karen Garcia put up a valiant defense of her U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur championship before losing in the semifinals last week in Wellesley, Mass. Rocklin’s Lynne Cowan advanced to the quarterfinals.

▪ Mark Morgan of El Dorado Hills won the Northern California Golf Association Senior Valley Amateur at Morgan Creek last week. Monterey’s Nick Moore won the open division by four shots over Roseville’s Juan Gonzalez.

▪ Plumas Lake has moved up its fall aerification two weeks from its initial schedule and will punch its greens Oct. 10-11.

Steve Pajak: 916-326-5526

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