Haas Named Bob Jones Award Winner for 2005
Presented annually since 1955, the USGAs highest honor is given in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. The award seeks to recognize a person who emulates Jones spirit, his personal qualities and his attitude toward the game and its players. The award will be presented Feb. 4 at the Associations Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga.
Haas, 52, who continues to play successfully on both the PGA and Champions Tours, was a member of the victorious 1975 USA Walker Cup squad. He has since played in the Ryder Cup in 1983, 1995 and 2004 as well as the Presidents Cup in 1994 and 2003.
Known for his consistency, Haas placed in the top 125 in career earnings from his first year as a professional in 1976 until 1999. In addition, he has 141 top-10 finishes in his professional career. At age 47 in 2001, he regained his Tour card by finishing 92nd in earnings. He was tied for the third-round lead at the 2004 Players Championship at age 50 and also finished in the top 10 at the U.S. Open (T9), Players Championship (T6) and the Tour Championship (T7).
In 2005, he defeated No.1 seed Vijay Singh in the second round at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships before losing to Chris DiMarco in the third round.
He has played in more than 30 USGA championships, including 26 U.S. Opens. His best Open finishes have been at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, where he tied for fourth in 1995 and shared the first-round lead with a 66 in 2004. In those 26 appearances, he has recorded three top-5 finishes and five top-10s.
Haas finished second in his first Champions Tour outing at the Senior PGA Championship and posted a T3 at the 2004 U.S. Senior Open in his third start.
He won nine events on the PGA Tour, first at the Andy Williams-San Diego Open in 1978 and lastly in 1993 at the H.E.B. Texas Open. With career earnings of nearly $14 million, Haas best two years on Tour were 2003 ($2.5 million) and 2004 ($2 million)
A native of St. Louis, Haas was introduced to golf by his uncle, 1968 Masters champion Bob Goalby. He won his first trophy, the National Pee Wee Championship in Orlando, Fla., at age 7.
A 1975 graduate of Wake Forest University, he won the NCAA Championship that year and also received the Fred Haskins Award as the nations best player. A two-time All-American, Haas played college golf with Curtis Strange and Scott Hoch.
Golf extends throughout the Haas family as Jays brother Jerry is the golf coach at Wake Forest University and his second son, Bill, was an All-American at Wake Forest and a member of the 2003 USA Walker Cup squad. Bill now plays on the Nationwide Tour. Brother-in-law Dillard Pruitt played on the PGA Tour and is now a Tour Rules official.
Haas and son, Bill, are the only father and son duo to compete in the U.S. Open together twice (2003 and 2004). Both made the cut in 2004.
He and wife, Janice, have five children and live in Greenville, S.C.
Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test
One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.
Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.
"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."
Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.
"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.
"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18