Andrew Jacobson would like to turn pro and play golf mini-tour events at some points.
He proved Monday that he can play with professional golfers in the Tennessee PGA section.
The 27-year-old amateur from Nashville shot a 5-under-par 65 and owns the lead after the first round of the Ira Templeton Chattanooga Open at Creeks Bend Golf Club.
“I play three or four times a week and try to get in at least an hour of practice every day,” said Jacobson, who did not play college golf and never has been a pro but maintained a handicap of 1 or 2 in high school. “I never got any [recruiting] letter and I just wasn’t that dedicated to golf.
“I wanted to get into the world and make money elsewhere, then maybe get back into golf.”
Jacobson made six birdies and an eagle but also three bogeys. He had only 28 putts Monday.
“It’s only been the last year or two that I’ve been able to shoot under par,” he said, “because I was always fidgeting and fixing and changing things. I’m in real estate now. I’d like to play full-time someday. But you need a lot of money to play golf.”
He owns a one-shot lead over former Lee University golfer Matt Robertson, who has no plans for trading in his shorts for the long pants that pros are required to wear. Robertson made six birdies — including four in a row on the back — and two bogeys.
Chattanooga’s Jimmy Pierce is third at 3 under, and four golfers are three shots off the lead: Craig Lee, Audie Johnson, Euggie Jones and Hunter Dees.
“I played good golf and I had a good day,” Robertson said. “I didn’t make anything that I shouldn’t have, but I also didn’t miss anything that I shouldn’t have.
“I’m in a good position, one back, and if I play like this again tomorrow I’ll be happy.”
Lee, Johnson and Jones lead the regular pro division with their 68s. Tennessee Wesleyan basketball and golf coach Mike Poe leads the overall senior division at 4-under 66, one better than fellow amateur Bob Rice, and Randy Helton, Mark Houser and Bobby Bray share the senior pro lead at 69.
All of them are looking up at Jacobson, who plays out of the Vanderbilt Legends Club, on the leaderboard.
“You don’t want to get ahead of yourself because things can happen in golf,” Jacobson said. “It feels good to put a good round together. But until you close the door, it’s still out there for somebody else too.”
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...