SAMMAMISH, Wash. - Tennessee amateur Tim Jackson had a storybook run at the 2009 U.S. Senior Open, shooting 66-67 to lead through 36 holes and eventually finishing T-11.
Jackson, 51, is starting this year's championship in the same vein. He shot a two-under 68 at Sahalee CC Thursday and is solidly in contention in T-3, two strokes behind Bruce Vaughan as the afternoon starters played their rounds.
"This week, for me, is my whole year," said Jackson. "My whole golf schedule was set around this whole week."
Jackson is proof that a golfer doesn't have to grind away all year if he has talent and uses his time wisely. He took about four months off after losing in the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur Oct. 8, not playing his first round of 2010 until Feb. 20. "I probably hit balls a couple of days a week during the season," he said. "But for me playing golf is better than hitting a lot of balls."
The formula is working.
-- Bill Fields