Jay Haas wears many hats these days. On top of still being a world class golfer playing on the Champions Tour, he is the father on PGA Tour pro Bill Haas. Oh and he also has this little title of Presidents Cup Captain for 2015.
Despite all that, Haas is out on Tour this week, playing the Allianz Championship at Broken Sound in Boca Raton. After playing nine holes in the morning’s Pro-Am (it was reduced from 18 to 9 due to the weather) he took a few moments to sit down with some of the media ahead of tomorrow’s opening round. Here is some of what he had to say.
On his 2014 season: “It was very much a dream year. I played consistently starting in January and throughout the whole year. After 2013 where I felt that I didn’t play my best golf, I loved how I played last year. To end the year the way I did with a win in Hickory and then almost getting one in the Schwab Cup it was a pretty satisfying year.”
On son Bill winning at Hummana two weeks ago: “Bill winning a few weeks ago was amazing. We practiced the week before in Palm Springs. He was a little frustrated but his bad shots don’t look as bad as my bad shots so I was a little surprised that he didn’t feel better about his game. He obviously putted very well the first couple of days and he hung in there to take the championship. I saw that at one point there were 16 guys all within a few shots of the lead at one time on Sunday, so to be that guy that jumped out and won the tournament I think made him feel pretty good.”
On Bill being on the Presidents Cup team: “With the Presidents Cup spots on the line, the win jumped him into the top 10. It’s a long way down the line and a lot can change between now and then. We have four major championships with double points but I was glad to see him have a chance. I think it would be a dream for me to have him on the team and hopefully he feels the same.”
On the young guns like Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas: “I have found myself watching more golf on TV to try and see how they handle certain situations down the stretch. I love the fact that a guy like Brooks doesn’t seem to have any fear and kind of has that extra gear. I love that drive he hit on 18 on Sunday. He drove it right up the gap and you would think a guy under pressure with a one shot lead, trying to win his first event would bail out and hit a 3-wood or hybrid and I love the drive he hit. I walked around with Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas on Tuesday and watched them play 3 holes and wow for a kid that’s 155 pounds (Thomas) he just launches this thing 15 degrees with his driver and he carries it as long as he wants it to carry.”
On Bill’s bunker shot save on 18 on Sunday at Hummana: “That was a hell of a shot. It was a much harder shot than it appeared. He made it look easy. That’s a fat shot, that’s a chunk, a shank, a toe hook in the water, there’s a lot that could have gone wrong there but I think the best thing that he did was he didn’t try to hit it too hard. As soon as you try to hit it too hard, you screw up. I saw it on replay and he just took a little swing and just popped it down the fairway. For him to hit it that flush was impressive and to know that because you don’t have those shots very often. Kind of like the water shot (final round of the 2011 Tour Championship). How do you know how to hit that? You don’t practice shots like that a whole lot.”
On his schedule plan for 2015 with being the Presidents Cup Captain: “I looked and I think I played 21 events last year and I will probably play about the same and I can still get to a lot of events on the PGA Tour that I want to get to. We are off for a month after Naples and so I will get to Doral which is where all the top guys will be. Then Augusta and same thing there all the top guys will be there. Players Championship, going to try and get there and then start picking and choosing from there. Most of the time I’m going to try and get there early in the week to get out of their hair. I just want them to know that I’m interested.”
On Tiger’s chipping woes: “I can only speak for myself but there have been times where I felt like I was never going to be able to hit another good chip shot without just a perfect lie and it’s hard to know what’s going through his mind and with his different swings and things like that, but it’s fairly shocking to see just because he is such a great player. He’s just lost his confidence a little it looks like and I think he will fight through that.”
On Tiger still being on his Presidents Cup radar: “It would be pretty hard not to have him on the watch list. So much can change. I fully expect him to play his way into the top 10 and be where he has been for a long time. We will see what happens but he is definitely on the radar.”
(Editor’s Note: Tiger Woods withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open shortly after this was published)
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