Haas captures first win of season|
Conover, NC (Sports Network) - Jay Haas birdied five of his last six holes and
fired a seven-under 65 on Sunday to win the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock
Barn for the second time.
Haas' late rally gave him a two-shot victory at 18-under 198 -- his first
victory of the season and the 13th of his Champions Tour career. He also won
this event in 2005.
Andy Bean and Russ Cochran matched Haas with 65s on Sunday and shared second
place at 16-under 200.
Hal Sutton also posted a 65 to join Nick Price (68) in a tie for fourth place
at 15-under 201.
Haas snapped an 0-for-26 streak dating back to June 1, 2008, when he won his
second consecutive start at The Principal Charity Classic. He won the Senior
PGA Championship the week before.
Despite playing last five months of the 2008 season without a victory, Haas
still managed to claim his second Charles Schwab Cup in three years. His
losing streak extended into his first 16 starts this season.
All that changed in six holes Sunday.
After sharing the overnight lead with Price, Haas treaded water for the first
12 holes of the final round. He made two birdies during that span -- at the
fifth and seventh holes -- and was among a glut of names near the top of the
Haas, playing for the first time in a month and battling elbow tendinitis,
knew he had to be better.
"I didn't think I could par in and win," he said.
Taking aim at the soft Rock Barn greens, Haas manufactured the birdie barrage
that would put him on top.
He knocked his approach to tap-in range at the 13th, making the first of four
consecutive birdies to draw within one of Cochran's lead. Haas made a 15-foot
putt at the 14th and an 18-footer at the 15th to move in front for good.
Not content, Haas stuck his approach within inches at the 16th for a two-
stroke lead. He then curled in a short birdie putt at the 18th to seal the
"I got going a little bit with the iron play, made a couple nice putts and
here I am," said Haas, who earned $262,500 for the win. "They were some good
iron shots I can take with me the rest of the year."
The 55-year-old St. Louis native said Rock Barn feels a little like home.
"The crowd gets behind me, and having in the back of my mind that I did win
here four years ago, I think that just made me feel good," said Haas. "It made
me feel like I could do it today."
09/20 18:20:50 ET