NORTON, Mass. – Jay Haas is in a predicament no American Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup captain has ever found himself.
Come Tuesday, Haas may have to decide whether to select his son as one of his two captain’s picks to take to South Korea next month to meet the Internationals - or leave him off the team.
How difficult does the father-son dynamic make that choice?
“It’s tough,” says Davis Love III, one of Haas’ three assistant captains. “We’re hoping, obviously, Bill makes it on points, because that takes a lot of pressure off Jay.”
Love is a father. His son, Dru, plays at the University of Alabama. Love understands the challenge.
“Bill is on the bubble and frustrated trying to make the team,” Love said after a practice round Wednesday at the Deutsche Bank Championship. “Jay has had a very objective attitude about him so far.”
Bill sits No. 11 on the U.S. Presidents Cup points list. The top 10 after Monday’s conclusion of the Deutsche Bank Championship automatically qualify for the team. Jay will fill out the roster with two wild-card picks.
Two years ago, Bill helped the United States win the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village in Columbus, Ohio. Fred Couples was the captain, and Bill qualified for the team. Jay was an assistant captain to Couples.
If Bill needs a captain’s pick to make the team, there may be as much stress on Haas’ assistants as there is on captain himself. Steve Stricker is the third assistant captain.
“Jay is going to lean on Fred probably more than me and Strick, but he’s asking us, too, what we think,” Love said. “I’ve been out playing with Bill this year. I’ve seen him a lot. Jay hears from him and watches him, but I’ve been playing with him. I can be a little bit more objective.”
Bill Haas told PGATour.com Wednesday morning that he’s confident his father will do what he thinks is right for the team.
“If I play well, I’ll make the team,” Bill said. “And if I don’t play well, then I won’t be playing well at the time of the pick and (my dad) won’t feel bad about not picking me.
“He wants me on the team. I want to be on the team. But he’s going to do it the right way. He’s going to do it how Freddie did it two years ago.”