SI: How much pressure did you feel having so many critics play
your course for the Houston Open?
PJ: There really wasn't a lot of pressure because I felt most of
the players would like the course. It's an old school layout,
like a Prairie Dunes or a San Francisco Golf Club, the type we
don't see much on the Tour anymore.
SI: What, you don't like TPCs?
PJ: I've never been a huge fan of the cookie-cutter TPC courses,
but they're getting better. There sure seems to be a lot of them.
I've never done one, but I guess I would if the Tour asked.
SI: They may not, after that crack. Having seen Redstone in
tournament play, is there anything you would do differently?
PJ: I'm sure we'll continue to add some length. After the
tournament Jim [Hardy, Jacobsen's co-designer] and I are coming
out here with the Houston Golf Association [the organization that
runs the Houston Open] to talk about changes, especially about
adding a few more trees. But on a 10-point happiness scale, I'm a
nine right now.
SI: You haven't heard any whining?
PJ: A few of the guys have said the [498-yard] par-4 7th hole is
too long and that there are a lot of long walks between the
greens and the tees, but when you build a course in a housing
development, selling lots is what pays the bills.
SI: Established architects hate it when Tour players swoop in and
steal all the glory. How's Jim Hardy doing this week, with your
getting all the attention?
PJ: Jim is a great friend, and I've attached myself to him
because he's the expert and I'm just the player. Jim lives in
Houston, he is a member of the Houston Golf Association, and he's
as proud as I am.
SI: You shot a first-round 67, only two shots out of the lead.
Isn't it a little unfair to use your home field advantage like
PJ: No wonder Nicklaus won so many tournaments, because he
designed so many of the courses they were played on. If I had
known that's how it works, I would've gotten involved in course
design long ago.
SI: What's more impressive, Jack's 18 majors or the 217 courses
PJ: His 18 majors. To do that you have to be tops in your field.
To design 217 courses, you just have to be a busy son of a gun.
COLOR PHOTO: SAM GREENWOOD/ICON SMI (JACOBSEN) HOME FIELDJake's tie for ninth in Houston was his second straight top 10.