The 1965 Ryder Cup Team from left: Arnold Palmer and next to him Tommy Jacobs, Gene Littler, Dave Marr, Tony Lema, Julius Boros, Don January, Johnny Pott, Ken Venturi and Billy Casper
Ryder Cup week brings back fond memories for 1965 U.S. team member Tommy Jacobs
Tommy Jacobs will follow the Ryder Cup this weekend, as he has every other year since he helped the United States beat a British-only team in 1965.
His memories of that 19.5-12.5 American win at England’s Royal Birkdale will become a little more vivid during the competition, as they always do. The camaraderie among his teammates in particular, as well as the U.S. team’s determination to continue its early domination of the event.
“We took the Ryder Cup as serious then as they do now,” he said. “Just because we were favored doesn’t mean we were slacking. We went out there and tried to knock their brains out.”
Jacobs, then a 30-year-old Ryder Cup rookie, did his part, teaming with Don January for two wins and splitting two singles matches for three U.S. points. It was his only Ryder Cup appearance.
After his wife’s death, Jacobs moved from North Carolina to El Dorado Hills two years ago to live with his son, Keith. Now 81, the four-time PGA Tour winner and two-time major championship runner-up (1964 U.S. Open and 1966 Masters) hasn’t played much golf recently as he’s dealt with family health issues. But he plans to get back out there soon, likely at Rancho Murieta.
He will be reminded often this weekend about the passing of Arnold Palmer, a 1965 Ryder Cup teammate. The memories will be fond, to no one’s surprise.
“He was always great, always gracious, always a gentleman,” Jacobs said.