Peter Jacobsen's sore hip nearly kept him out of the U.S. Senior Open. Nothing, not even playing 36 holes in one day, could keep him from winning the title in St. Louis.
Jacobsen shot a 3-under-par 68 over the final 18 holes yesterday and was 12 under for the tournament to finish one stroke ahead of Hale Irwin. Jacobsen was able to rally past Tom Kite, who played 4 over for the last four holes -- including a double-bogey on the final one.
Jacobsen was forced to pull out of two previous tournaments, following hip surgery, because the pain of walking 18 holes was too much to bear. He had to walk 36 yesterday after rain washed out play Friday.
"I almost didn't come," said Jacobsen, 50, who played in his 11th event this season. "I came to St. Louis. Boy am I glad I did."
It was the first time the field at a seniors event played 36 holes in one day. Unlike regular Champions Tour events, carts aren't allowed in the five majors.
Kite fell apart at the end, closing with bogey-bogey-par-double-bogey. With daughter Stephanie as his caddie, Kite shot a morning round of 6-under 65 that gave him a two-stroke lead. He ended up two strokes behind Jacobsen.
"Coming down the last few holes of a 36-hole round, you can feel the fatigue," Jacobsen said. "It's no fun to do that when you have a chance to win any championship."
Jacobsen, last year's winner of the PGA Tour's Greater Hartford Open, rallied from three strokes down with 12 holes to play. It was the first major victory of any kind for Jacobsen, known for his jovial attitude and rapport with fans.
* BUICK OPEN: The final round in Grand Blanc, Mich., turned into a virtual match play between Vijay Singh and John Daly, one of the top golfers in the world against one of the most popular.
Singh outlasted Daly with a 5-under 67 to win with a 23-under 265 for his fourth victory of the year and the 19th of his career. Daly, vying for a second win in one season for the first time, finished a stroke back after shooting a 66 and bogeying the 18th hole.
Singh seemed to get a kick out of the rock star-like reception for Daly, and he later said it motivated him to win the tournament.
"It was noisy, and the crowd was all for him, but it fired me up," Singh said.
Tiger Woods started the day three strokes behind Singh, and only pulled one stroke closer despite shooting a 66. He finished at 21 under, tied with Carlos Franco (67) for third.
"To play that well and not win is frustrating," said Woods, who will look to snap his streak without a major victory at nine at the PGA Championship in two weeks.
* WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN: Karen Stupples won her first major title with a record-tying score of 19-under 269 in Sunningdale, England.
Defending champion Annika Sorenstam, who was making a bid to become the second woman to win all four majors back-to-back, finished tied for 13th.
Stupples shot an 8-under 64 in the final round to tie the record-low score in a major, set by Dottie Pepper at the 1999 Nabisco Dinah Shore, and finished five shots in front of Rachel Teske.
Starting the round a stroke behind third-round co-leaders Heather Bowie and Teske, Stupples began the day with an eagle on No. 1 and a double-eagle on the second hole.
"I thought, 'Crikey, it could be my day,' " said Stupples, who led after the first and second rounds.