Jay Haas looking for three-peat in Iowa


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Champions TourWEST DES MOINES, Iowa ' Iowa has been good to Jay Haas. So good, in fact, that the organizers of this years Principal Charity Classic have celebrated his return with a Jay Haas bobblehead.
The likeness of Haas, free to the first 1,500 fans who show up Friday, features the striped blue shirt, khaki pants and white hat he wore during last years final round, when he had four birdies on back nine for his second straight win at Glen Oaks Country Club.
The only problem for Haas is that it also has gray eyebrows and a full head of gray hair poking out of that cap.
Im not that gray, Haas said.
Haas, who for the record has but a few flecks of gray mixed in a tightly cropped head of dark hair, can become just the sixth Champions Tour player to win the same tournament at least three straight times with a victory this weekend.
Hale Irwin last pulled off the feat when he won his fifth consecutive Turtle Bay Championship crown in 2005.
Haas cruised to his first Principal Charity Classic victory in 2007, shooting a 12-under 201 total to win by three strokes. Last year he trailed second-round leader Nick Price by three shots entering the back nine.
He nailed birdies on Nos. 14, 15 and 16 and made par on the last two holes, traditionally among the toughest at Glen Oaks, to win by one shot over Andy Bean and two over Price.
Haas, who grew up in nearby Belleville, Ill., says Glen Oaks reminds him of the traditional Midwestern courses he grew up on.
It kind of feels somewhat like home, when I was growing up in southern Illinois, Haas said. Visually, it looks good to me.
Haas is also hoping that his familiarity with the par-71, 6,879-yard course can help him rediscover the form thats been missing of late.
Haas, who won the Champions Tour money crown in 2006 and 2007 and finished second in 2008, doesnt have a victory this season and he hasnt cracked the top five since finishing third at the AT&T Champions Classic in March.
His recent skid has coincided with the cracked club face that ruined his beloved driver last month. Haas had been using the same driver for 2 1/2 years, and hes still trying to find a replacement hes confident in.
Im disappointed that I havent played better than I have. But Ive been doing some good things, and I guess Im hoping that this course will kick start me again, said Haas, currently eighth on the money list and 10th in the Charles Schwab Cup points standings.
Price didnt break through with a Champions Tour win until the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am at the TPC Tampa Bay in April. One of the major disappointments during a stretch of 38 senior events without a victory came at Glen Oaks last year.
Price could have forced a playoff with a birdie on No. 18, but his approach found the fringe and he left the putt well short.
If not for a balky putter on the back nine on Sunday, I would have had a chance to win and beat Jay, but it just didnt happen, Price said.
Michael Allen, who won the Senior PGA Championship last week in his Champions Tour debut, isnt in the field. Neither is current money leader Bernhard Langer, and Dana Quigley pulled out Wednesday following the death of his brother-in-law.
Three-time PGA Tour winner Olin Browne, who turned 50 last week, will make his Champions Tour debut.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Principal Charity Classic
  • Full Coverage - Principal Charity Classic