Peter’s Party big hit with local fans

Updated: October 3, 2011

Peter Jacobsen thought the Portland area had gone way too long with an all-star event. His Fred Meyer Challenge played for years in the Portland area, but went away with lack of sponsorship.

But last month, Peter’s Party returned, this time as the Umpqua Bank Challenge at the Portland Golf Club with six teams of two players, including The King, Arnold Palmer, who partnered with Jacobsen.

Palmer was the big story of the two tournament days of the Umpqua Bank Challenge at Portland. In the opening round, Palmer was given ovations everywhere he went, and that evening was made the first Umpqua Bank Challenge honoree. The award will be given annually to a player who supports professional golf in Oregon and the country, and shows community and charitable efforts.

In the second round, Palmer was back at the course, out in the first group with partner Jacobsen along with Fuzzy Zoeller and his partner, Ben Crenshaw. The first tee was ringed seven deep with fans when they started, and the group drew the biggest gallery of the day.

Fans once again showed their appreciation of Palmer, making his first appearance in Oregon since he played in the 2002 Fred Meyer Challenge. Sure, he and Jacobsen finished last among the six teams at 4 under, 20 shots behind winners Scott McCarron and Steve Elkington. But no one seemed to care. Elkington and McCarron ran away with the title at 24 under while Nick Price and Mark O’Meara were at 18 under along with Jay Haas and John Cook. Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman were at 17 under and Fuzzy Zoeller and Ben Crenshaw finished at 7 under.