Haas Voted Champions Player of the Year


Champions TourPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Jay Haas was named Player of the Year/Jack Nicklaus Trophy winner on the Champions Tour, it was announced on Sunday.
The award, voted on by his fellow Champions Tour players, was revealed on Sunday by PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and Champions Tour President Rick George.
'It had been a month since the season ended at Sonoma and I'd kind of forgotten about things,' said Haas. 'It was pretty exciting when I got Rick's call on Thursday evening. I knew it was a close race. As a matter of fact, I voted for Loren. We both played well pretty much all year and I'm sure the vote could have gone either way.'
Haas and Roberts battled all year, but ultimately everything went Haas' way. He won the money title with $2,420,227 and captured the Charles Schwab Cup with its $1 million annuity, which he donated.
Haas won four titles in 2006, including his first major championship at the Senior PGA Championship. He added two runner-ups and posted 16 top-10s for the season.
'It was certainly one of my goals at the start of the year to be the leading money winner and to win the Charles Schwab Cup, goals a number of players have to begin a season,' said Haas. 'It is very fulfilling to win Player of the Year. I'm going to cherish it for a while, then put it in the back of my mind and start thinking about 2007 so I can go out and try and do it again.'
Finchem and George handed out some more hardware on Sunday.
Eduardo Romero, an eight-time winner on the European Tour, earned Rookie of the Year honors and Tim Simpson was voted Comeback Player of the Year.
Romero lost a playoff to Roberts at the Senior British Open, but the second- place finish gave him an opportunity to play the Champions Tour on a regular basis.
He parlayed that chance into a win at his next start, a major, the JELD-WEN Tradition. Romero collected a pair of top-5s the rest of the season and finished 17th on the money list and tied for fifth in the Charles Schwab Cup race.
Simpson missed most of the last five seasons due to various ailments. He was originally told he had Lyme Disease, which he contracted in 1991, then was diagnosed with benign essential tumor.
He underwent DBS (deep brain stimulation) surgery in March of 2005 and Simpson turned 50 in May. Simpson teed it up in 16 tournaments, tallied three top-10s and shared fifth twice -- at the Greater Kansas City Golf Classic and the Senior British Open.