Haas Looks for First Major in 2007

By Associated PressOctober 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Constellation Energy ClassicBALTIMORE, Maryland -- Jay Haas has just about done it all on the Champions Tour this year.
 
He's won more tournaments, earned more money and had more sub-par rounds than anyone else. He averages the most birdies per 18 holes, owns a tour-best 69.36 scoring average and holds a hefty lead in Charles Schwab Cup points, which could earn him $1 million in bonus money.
 
About the only thing Haas hasn't done is win a major tournament, a shortcoming he hopes to rectify this week at the Senior Players Championship.
 
Oh, Haas isn't about to declare himself the odds-on favorite to win the $2.6 million event, which begins Thursday at the Baltimore Country Club. But he can't deny that he's playing some of the best golf of his life.
 
'I would never say that I feel like I'm the man to beat,' Haas said Wednesday. 'I think that I'm one of a group of guys who, if we play well, will be in contention. But I'm confident and I've been playing well. I've been driving the ball well, my iron game has been pretty good and my putting has been pretty good. Things have been going my way.'
 
It's been like that for two years now. Haas only dabbled in the Champions Tour in 2004 and 2005, choosing instead to test his luck on the more challenging PGA Tour. But last year he turned his attention toward playing with the over-50 crowd, and ended up becoming the first player since Hale Irwin in 2002 to claim the Arnold Palmer Award as the leading money winner and Schwab Cub champion.
 
He's made a fine living on the Champions Tour, earning more than $2.4 million last year (plus the $1 million Schwab bonus) and nearly $2.4 million in 2007.
 
'The money is just incredible out here,' he said. 'I won't say that drives me, but I have five kids and three girls, so there are some weddings in the future and college to pay for. But I have just enjoyed playing. It's fun to go to work, and it's not going to last forever.'
 
Haas won one major tournament in 2006, the Senior PGA Championship. In the majors this year he finished tied for ninth in the Senior PGA Championship, tied for fifth in the U.S. Senior Open, tied for fourth in the British Senior Open and tied for 14th in the JELD-WEN Tradition.
 
He does not expect an easy time of it this weekend. The Senior Players Championship was held from 1990-2006 in Dearborn, Mich., so this week marks the first time many of the golfers have seen this 7,003-yard, par-70 course.
 
'The greens are very slick and have quite a bit of tilt to them. I think the most important part of playing this golf course is to put the ball underneath the hole,' Haas said. 'But also, the course itself is very difficult. It's going to be a real test for us.'
 
It could turn out to be the most challenging course on the tour this year.
 
'Being a new golf course, I guess most of us really don't know how it's going to play out,' he said. 'Generally speaking, when we go to a new place we always think it's harder than it actually is, but I'm afraid this one kind of is pretty difficult.'
 
One of the contenders is Tom Watson, who has played in only 10 events this year but won two and finished in the top 10 eight times.
 
'He's a legend in his spare time,' quipped Haas.
 
Watson, who's ninth on the money list, said, 'I've had a better year this year than I did last year. The last round I played, I was in seven bunkers and got it up and down seven times. That part of my game was really strong. Those kinds of things keep me out here. I enjoy competing, hitting the shots when they count, hitting them well.'
 
The top 10 money winners on the tour this year are among a field of 78 competing for the $390,000 top prize. The defending champion is Bobby Wadkins.
 
The tournament is sponsored by Constellation Energy.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

    Getty Images

    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

    Getty Images

    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

    Getty Images

    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.