Haas Breaks Records in Champions Victory


2007 Toshiba ClassicNEWPORT BEACH, California -- Jay Haas won for the first time this season on the Champions Tour, taking the Toshiba Classic by two strokes Sunday and breaking the tournament record for score in relation to par.
Haas, a four-time winner last year on the 50-and-over tour, closed with a 65 at Newport Beach Country Club to finish at 19-under 194.
The 53-year-old Haas earned $247,500 for his seventh career win in 35 starts on the Champions Tour. Coming into this weekend, he had four top-fives in six tournaments this season, including three second-place finishes .
'I felt every hole was a birdie hole,' said Haas, who made 20 birdies in 54 holes and broke Hale Irwin's tournament record of 17 under set in 2002. 'I felt I needed a cushion down the stretch to win.'
R.W. Eaks also shot a 6-under 65 in the final round and finished second at 17 under, his third career second-place finish on the Champions Tour since joining in 2002. Joe Ozaki and Ben Crenshaw tied for third six strokes back. Peter Jacobsen, who had laser back surgery last week, was one of four golfers who finished tied for fifth, seven strokes behind Haas.
'Jay is one of the most complete players I've ever played with,' said Jacobsen, who with Eaks and Haas in the final group. 'He played well. He was on fire.'
Haas, a nine-time winner of the PGA Tour, entered the final round with a one-stroke lead over Jacobsen, but it was Ozaki who made a move early. Ozaki made birdies on his first two holes and got to within one of Haas, but a birdie putt by Haas on the fourth hole built the lead to two. The lead reached three shots when he made a 7-foot birdie on the seventh hole.
Haas made his only bogey of the tournament on the eighth hole, when he chunked a chip and missed a 20-foot par saving putt. It was his first bogey in 46 holes, a streak going back to last weeks Ace Group Classic. Haas followed the miscue with four consecutive birdies to build his lead to four.
'I got a lot of breaks (Sunday),' Haas said. 'R.W. (Eaks) put a lot of pressure on me, he was putting very well.'
Haas got a break on No. 11 when his 15-foot birdie hung on the lip of the cup, falling in after eight seconds.
'I certainly rode a wave from last year,' Haas said. 'I played well towards the end and I feel it has carried over.'
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