DUBLIN, Ohio – It was either the emotion of returning to a place that has meant the world to his family, or the rare chance for a few good night’s sleep following the recent birth of his first child. Whatever spurred on Bill Haas, his second-round 67 at windswept Muirfield Village was enough to move him two strokes clear of the field.
Not that Haas, who is at 9 under par thanks to a birdie-eagle-birdie run that began at the fourth hole, had many expectations following two consecutive missed cuts prior to the Memorial and the birth of his son, William Harlan Haas Jr., on May 13.
Nor did Haas’ record at Jack’s Place suggest he was due for a big week – his best finish in seven starts at the Memorial was a tie for 30th (2008) – but for a Haas, the family line at Muirfield Village is special regardless of outcome.
Haas’ father, Jay, played the event 29 times, finished in the top 10 on nine occasions and would bring young Bill to Ohio to caddie for him.
“This place, even though I've never really had great success here personally, I love coming back, look forward to it every year,” said Bill Haas, who played the Memorial as a college player in 2005 on a sponsor exemption. “I've always known how much my dad liked it and how well he did here.”
If Haas continues to play like he has through two rounds – he’s connected with 25 of 28 fairways and needed just 24 putts on Friday – he may be poised to add a new chapter to the Haas legacy at Muirfield Village. Until then, the new father will enjoy the extra sleep.
“It’s been a couple of great nights,” he smiled.