CHESTERTON | Bobby Jacobs didn't win the Northern Amateur, but the recent Valparaiso grad picked up some valuable pointers.
Jacobs played the first two rounds with Mexico City's Juan Pablo Hernandez, the eventual champion.
"His short game is great; he's the best bunker player I've ever seen," Jacobs said of Hernandez. "Any time you play with someone like that, it's great."
Hernandez squandered his final-round lead with a bogey on No. 13 and double bogeys on 15 and 18. He shrugged off those problems, beating David Tepe of Liberty Township, Ohio in a three-hole playoff Friday at Sand Creek Country Club.
Hernandez, in his third Northern Am, recently graduated from Arizona, and he plans on turning pro in the near future. He definitely took away some lessons of his own.
"I took more from having to deal with the pressure of not playing well (in regulation)," he said. "I was pretty mad (after 18). I thought I handled things after that pretty well."
Jacobs also finished on a high note. He was the low local, carding a 72 on his final round and totaling 221 (18th).
"I was hitting it pretty well, like I did (Thursday)," said Jacobs, who was 3-under after 10 holes. "It got windy at the end of the day, so you we're going to have bogeys.
"I'm still not disappointed with a 72."
The first two days were hardly memorable for recent Jacobs' classmate Kyle Meihofer, but the Illinois State recruit made up for lost time. Meihofer matched his first-round total of six birdies, but he played more consistent throughout 18 and finished at 71. He ended up tied for 33rd at 225.
"I was just psyched out the first day, and I couldn't make putts or get myself in position for a good shot the second day," he said. "I dropped a lot of positions (Thursday), and I came in (Friday) with nothing to lose. There was no pressure on my shoulders."
He finished his round with a birdie on 18, and he feels good about his entrance into college golf.
"This is the last tourney before I start playing (in college), so I have three weeks to get ready," Meihofer said. "The competition was very tough here, and every player is well respected. Ending on a good note was definitely a highlight."