Tom Jenkins' chance at history slips away early in the round
64-year-old was aiming to be the Champions Tour's oldest winner
Special to The Seattle Times
SNOQUALMIE — Tom Jenkins was stalking history when the final round of the Boeing Classic started, but instead of a shock-the-world upset he limped home with a 78.
Jenkins, 64, led the tournament by two shots after two rounds and had a chance to become the oldest winner ever on the 50-and-older Champions Tour, but instead finished tied for 21st.
He was trying to erase the record set in 1985 when Mike Fetchick was victorious on his 63rd birthday.
"I got off to kind of a crappy start," Jenkins said, referring to his par at the birdie-friendly par-5 first hole where he three-putted from the fringe.
"That was a key putt," he said of the second putt, a 5-footer. "If that goes in, it sets the stage a little different.
"After that, I didn't feel comfortable," he said. "I kind of forced it. Probably my age caught up with me and trying too hard and I got out of the moment. And when that happens, it's hang on for dear life."
Jenkins missed a 3-foot par putt on the second hole and then bogeyed the next two holes on his way out of contention. He birdied the par-3 sixth hole but bogeyed the seventh and started the back nine with three consecutive bogeys to tumble further back in the pack.
Jenkins nearly shot his age Saturday with a 65. He is familiar with going low at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge because he shares the tournament record of 61, which he shot in 2006.
Jenkins lives in Austin, Texas, and is the father of 12- and 9-year-old boys.
If Jenkins had won Sunday, it would have been a truly historic day in golf because 15-year-old Lydia Ko became the youngest winner in LPGA history when she won the Canadian Women's Open at The Vancouver Golf Club. Ko is the first amateur winner on the LPGA since Kirkland native JoAnne Carner in 1969.
In a Funk for one hole
Fred Funk shot a comedic 9-over 12 on the par-3 13th hole. He used five balls on the hole.
His first tee shot headed right at the pin but overshot the green and couldn't be found.
"It was the best iron I hit all day," he said.
His next tee shot wasn't as good. It missed the green left and was lost.
His third tee shot went in the front bunker. He airmailed his shot out of the bunker and it couldn't be found. Then he hit a screaming low shot out of the bunker and it, too, was lost. He dropped another ball, blasted to the middle of the green and two-putted.
Funk declined to talk much about the disaster hole.
"There's nothing to say about it," he said. "It's embarrassing."
Funk finished with a 16-over 88, which is the highest score in the eight-year history of the Boeing Classic. Blaine McCallister shot an 87 in the second round last year.
• Winner Jay Don Blake got tears in his eyes at the postround media conference when a writer asked him about the day in 2004 when he purposely shot 85 at the Boaz Allen Classic on the PGA Tour to honor his mother, who had died that morning at age 85. Blake, who admitted he really didn't want to play that day, missed several putts on purpose late in the round and recalled, "I had to eight- or nine-putt the last hole." At the scorer's tent, a rules official started to lecture Blake about disrespecting the game, but playing partner Dicky Pride interceded and told the official, "You don't understand the story so you better not say much more."
• Blake's caddie for the tournament was his wife, Marci.
• Duffy Waldorf, who finished tied for eighth at 6-under 210 after a final-round 67 in his Champions Tour debut, said he learned it takes longer to warm up on the over-50 tour because the players enjoy talking to each other. Waldorf had been splitting time between the Web.com Tour and PGA Tour. "It's very friendly, congenial out there when you're talking to everyone," he said. "I'm used to just going right to the putting green and going to the range and hitting a few practice chips and off to the tee. But here, there's lots of chatting, so I need an extra 15 minutes to warm up. That's something new and nice."