DADE CITY, Fla. – A strong wind combined with unstable putting resulted in a round of struggle at the University of South Florida Invitational for Robert Jacobsen on Monday, but those factors don’t tell the whole story about his game.
Jacobsen, a senior at the University of Wisconsin, had some impressive power drives, including a 370-yard drive on hole two, but the windy conditions added to a tough course, affecting the accuracy of some of his shots and reflected in his score.
Playing for the second straight year at the USF Invitational, he shot four strokes over the course par on the second round of the tournament held at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club. Despite that, he has already improved his score from last year by 12 strokes, with the final round still to be played on Tuesday.
Jacobsen, who finished 2013 with strong performances, with a top-five finish at Badger Invitational and a top-10 finish at Wendy’s Classic, said that while the experience from playing on Lake Jovita last year helps, it isn’t the main reason for his recent improvements.
“I’m just playing better in general compared to last year,” he said. “It helps to know where to hit the ball and where to hit your shots, where to miss your shots.
“The more often you play a course the more comfortable you are with it, but I’ve been working harder on my short game for quite some time and my swing finally is feeling comfortable again to the point where I’m confident standing over the ball.”
According to his parents, the passion for golf runs in the family. “Rob started golfing when he was three years old,” said his father, Robert Jacobsen Sr. “I also played golf and so did my wife.”
His mother added: “He has always been very competitive. When he used to be eight or nine playing Junior Golf, he would always get really mad at himself if he had a bad shot in a tournament, and eventually I had to tell him to stop doing that right there, in the middle of the tournament. It wasn’t funny at the time, but nowadays we all laugh about it.”
Robert’s brother, Paul, is a professional golf player currently on the PGA Latin America tour. When asked if he wants to follow his older brother steps, the answer was pretty straightforward.
“I have a medical redshirt from my sophomore year, so I can play the fifth year at Wisconsin, which I’m planning on doing and then I want to turn pro after that,” Robert said.