Monday Morning Golf Report
Sept. 21, 2009
With the PGA Tour Playoffs taking a week off, the seniors were in the spotlight this week and no one shined brighter than Jay Haas on Sunday, as his final round 65 gave him a two-shot victory at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn in Hickory, N.C.
The win was the first of the season for Haas and it came in record fashion as his 18-under par total broke R.W. Eaks 54-hole record by one shot.
Haas, who took the past month off to rest a sore elbow, got off to a great start on Friday, firing a 10-under 62. He then plodded his way to a 71 on Saturday and came into the final round in a tie for the lead with Nick Price.
Both players got off to a bit of a slow start but birdies by Haas at five and seven allowed him to make the turn at 2-under. He then pared the first three holes on the back nine and actually lost the lead to a red-hot Russ Cochran but Haas knocked his approach to within a foot at No. 13 to get him kick started.
The 1975 Wake Forest graduate would birdie holes 13-16 to take regain a two-shot lead with two holes to play. A solid par at the par-3 17th and a textbook birdie at the par-5 18th left Haas with a two-shot victory over Cochran and playing partner Andy Bean.
This was Haas' second win at Rock Barn in his career as he also claimed his first Champions Tour victory at the course in 2005. For the year, Haas has posted a total of seven top-10s in 17 starts and has cracked the one million dollar mark in earnings for the fifth-straight year.
Gary Hallberg, Jay Sigel and Lanny Wadkins were also in the first this week in Hickory but none of the three could get it rolling like Haas. Hallberg finished tied for 63rd at 4-over, Sigel was tied for 66th at 5-over and Wadkins finished tied for 74th at 11-over.
The Champions Tour will stay in North Carolina this week as it heads to Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, N.C. for the SAS Championship.
On the Nationwide Tour, Ron Whittaker played three great rounds to open the Albertsons Boise Open but couldn't finish off the week on Sunday. He carded a pair of 69s on Thursday and Friday to make the cut at 4-under and then turned in a bogey-free 7-under 64 on Saturday to vault him to fourth heading into the final round. But the wheels stopped turning on Sunday and he would go on to card a 79 and fall back to tied for 43rd.
Kyle Reifers also teed-it-up this week in Boise, finishing tied for 57th after rounds of 69-69-73-76. The Tour now swings into Midland, Texas, for the WNB Golf Classic this week.
LPGA Tour will return to full-field action this week at the CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge at Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, Calif.