Saturday’s forecast called for temperatures as hgh as 86 with winds from the southwest at 8-12 mph.
For Sunday’s final round, the high is expected to be 77 with winds from 5-15 mph in the afternoon.
Friday was pretty good to University of Colorado alums:
- Hale Irwin shot an 8-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead in the AT&T Champions Classic;
- Dale Douglass, 71, shot his age for the fifth time in his Champions Tour career, posting a 2-under 70 in the opening round at Valencia CC;
- And Jill Painter, Daily News golf writer, was kicking some serious Buff in our NCAA Tournament pool
Jon Fiedler always dreamed of being a touring pro.
Watching former USC teammates Craig Stadler and Scott Simpson win major championships only fueled Fiedler’s desire to play against the game’s best.
So, after turning 50 years old, the longtime director of golf at Las Posas Country Club in Camarillo decided to try the Champions Tour qualifying school.
After three misses, Fiedler said he was hesitant to try to qualify again last fall. But he gave it another shot and finished 11th to earn his Champions Tour card. After 28 years at Las Posas, he quit his job Jan. 15 although he still can teach there.
“This is always what I dreamt it was,” said Fiedler, who shot an even-par 72 Friday. “I’ve got a second chance.”
After his round, Fiedler was greeted by about a dozen LPCC members.
“Thank you, Las Posas,” Fiedler said, spreading his arms wide as if embracing the gallery.
John Jacobs lists USC as his college in the Champions Tour media guide.
He didn’t graduate, however.
“I went out for spring football practice at USC, but it bored me,” said Jacobs, who grew up in Whittier and whose father was the director of parks and recreation for the city of Los Angeles and a drinking buddy of then-Trojans football coach John McKay. “I went to school for about three days and dropped out.”
So Jacobs joined the Army, figuring he’d have to do a stint in the military anyway. He spent a tour in Vietnam.
“I just wanted to play golf,” said Jacobs while chomping on his ever-present cigar.
Jacobs played on the PGA Tour from 1968-80, with three runner-up finishes. His greatest success has come on the Champions Tour, with five victories and more than $8 million in earnings.
Because of injuries, the past couple of seasons have been difficult for Jacobs, who turns 62 Sunday. He said he has had a half-dozen Magnetic Resonance Imaging exams on his back in the past three years, which failed to find the problem. He recently went to an osteopath, who diagnosed a rib injury.
Since receiving treatment for the rib injury, Jacobs’ game has improved markedly. He tied for ninth at last week’s Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach – his first top-10 finish since 2005 – and fired a 5-under 67 in Friday’s opening round of the AT&T Champions Classic at Valencia Country Club, including a 30 on the back nine.
“I’m fired up for the first time in three years,” Jacobs said.
Peter Jacobsen withdrew after playing 12 holes because of a back injury. He was 2 over at the time.
According to a Champions Tour official, Jacobsen already was scheduled to have back surgery next Wednesday and likely will be out for a month.
Jacobsen has had six operations in the past three years, including knee surgery and a hip replacement. He had laser surgery on his back Feb. 27, was hitting balls two days later and played at last week’s Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach.
Valencia Country Club has ranked as the toughest course on the Champions Tour (excluding majors) in three of the past five years, featuring a scoring average of 73.662 strokes last season and 74.260 in 2005. It also was the toughest non-major course on tour in 2002, when the average score was 75.167.
In Friday’s opening round, with the temperatures reaching the low 90s, the field bettered par, averaging 71.227 strokes on the par-72 layout. That was the lowest total since the tournament moved to Valencia CC in 2001, nearly a stroke better than the previous best (72.078 during the second round in 2004). It also was more than two strokes lower than the opening round in 2006 (73.615).
Of the 75 players in the field, 23 shot rounds in the 60s and 46 broke par.
“We had ideal scoring conditions today. The weather was not the story it was last year,” said first-round leader Hale Irwin, referring to the chilling tempuratures in the 40s the players faced in 2006. “All the reasons why you should score (well) were there.”
R.W. Eaks, who finished second at last week’s Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach Country Club, withdrew after six holes Friday because of a back injury.
Eaks, who posted a 17-under 196 to finish two strokes back of Jay Haas last week, started Friday on the back nine. He parred his first four holes before taking a double-bogey 5 on the par-3 14th. After making a par on the 15th hole, Eaks decided to call it a day.