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November 3, 2011

Jay Haas


THE MODERATOR: Jay, 3-under, 68 today in tough conditions. Maybe just get us started and talk about your day, and then we'll get some questions.
JAY HAAS: Obviously it was a very difficult day out there as the scores are indicating. I played very well. Hit a lot of good iron shots today, and that kind of kept me in there.
Hit a lot of greens. Greens were firm starting off. They softened up just a little bit with what rain we've had. Just the cool, the wind, the rain, makes this place pretty difficult.
Ball just does not go very far out here, so we're hitting one or two clubs more than maybe we would somewhere elsewhere would it be above room temperature I guess you would say.
But I'm very pleased. I saw Frosty got off to a good start, 5-under; Freddy got to 4- or 5-under, I guess. So the back nine is not playing easy, and I made birdies at 16 and 17. That certainly capped my round.
THE MODERATOR: Birdies start at 4 and 5.
4, the par-5, I hit a gap wedge in to about 12 feet.
6, I had pitching wedge to about five feet.
Bogeyed No. 11. I hit good shot there just through the green and hit a poor chip shot. Went by about 15 feet and didn't make it.
Then I birdied 16 and 17.
16 I hit a lob wedge to about eight feet.
17, just from the front edge of the green, maybe 25 feet.

Q. Obviously you've played in rainy weather before. How much did that play a part in your round today?
JAY HAAS: Yeah, the rain is not as bad as the rain and the wind. Of course the wind gets in there, too, and that makes it pretty difficult.
There were a few holes -- we were fortunate. The one squall that came in, it seemed like that was the at the 9th hole, the par-5. Still, we were at the front of the green and it was just pitching at that time.
So that wasn't so bad. We got to some of the longer holes on the back nine and the wind had kind of laid down a little bit. But I knocked it on, let's see, 14, and the marshal said I was the first guy to knock it on the green today. And I'm in the middle of the a field. There were probably 12 or 14 guys ahead of us. So that was pretty unbelievable.
But it was playing -- the tee was back. It was playing 465 into the wind and rain, and so it definitely plays a factor. It'll add a club or two. And just being cool, ball not going anywhere, the course played quite long today.
As you see, all of us long hitters are up there at the lead. (Laughing.)

Q. After Bill won the FedExCup...
JAY HAAS: I don't want to talk about Bill today. It's about me today.

Q. Did that inspire you as a player? Is there still any residual effect from the excitement?
JAY HAAS: Not necessarily. I would like to think every time he played well it would inspire me, but I'm trying my hardest.
My whole family inspires me. I think they're wonderful. You know, everyone in our family I think kind of had a glow-on for two or three weeks after that.
You know, he and I have talked a little bit about all that played out and everything, but we haven't really dwelled on it that much.
So many people this week have been saying congratulations to me, and everybody I see from then on, seemed like they all congratulated me on Bill's victory and things like that.
But I won't say that made any kind of difference. I been working hard on my game, and I want to play well at any time. So it really doesn't -- you know, if he played poorly there, I wouldn't have thought that I would have played poorly either.

Q. On TV you were saying been working hard on your game.
JAY HAAS: Right.

Q. With anyone in particularly?
JAY HAAS: Not necessarily. Billy Harmon, who I've worked with, he came up Tuesday and spent the day. We played 18 holes and he watched me play, and then we hit some balls afterwards.
Had a good session, but I've had good sessions with him before and it hasn't panned out immediately. Maybe in the future. But I hadn't seen Billy in a while, so it was convenient for him to come up here.
He's actually caddying for Bill at the Australian Open and the Presidents Cup, because Jay Junior's wife is expecting kind of any day now. So that's why Jay is not on the bag. I wouldn't have minded caddying down there, but Freddy and I might need to do a few more things.
But, yeah, I just been playing and wanting to finish off the year on a good note. Feel pretty good about the way I've been playing at home, so I was anxious to get out here.

Q. How difficult were the conditions, especially in contrast to the last couple days?
JAY HAAS: Yeah, last few days kind of teased us a little bit for sure. It was many different clubs than we hit in practice and in the Pro-Am. The different wind direction, too. Thankfully, No. 18 was a little bit of a help wind certainly off the tee shot. Yesterday, I hit a hybrid club in there; today I hit a 5-iron.
Number -- I don't know, it was a two- or three-club turnaround wind basically on most holes. Some obviously benefited us, but some definitely played longer.

Q. An example of a hole where...
JAY HAAS: I don't know if you heard, but No. 14, it 467 on the sign back there. We weren't up very far. I smashed a drive there, and Tommy told me I had 221 or 223 to the hole. Yesterday I hit a 7-iron in to the hole.
So that's a huge difference. I think I had yesterday 168 or something like that, so that's, what a 40-yard, 50-yard difference. I hit my 17 degree hybrid, and -- well, the marshal behind the green, after we played the hole, he said I was the first to hit the green today in two.
When I was leaving the tee, he told my caddie, a marshal told my caddie that no one had hit the green. So Tommy waited to tell me that until after I had hit the green. He's a smart caddie. He's earning his money. He's learning from some years.

Q. Not about Bill, but about your captain, Mr. Couples. He misses all those weeks, you know, with the back problem, and he comes out and he's won twice and he's right there this week. What does that say about him?
JAY HAAS: I think just that, that he's that capable when he's healthy of doing anything like that. You know, he's spectacular. I always say he's a golfing genius. He's kind of just got it. I mean, shooting 23-under or whatever at San Antonio, that course was not that easy.
Just I don't know how many birdies he made that week, but it seemed like every other hole he was making one.

Q. (No microphone.)
JAY HAAS: He tied the record? Is that right? That's pretty incredible. It's just testament to his talent. When he's healthy, he has a great work ethic.
So it's pretty cool I think for him also being the captain and going down there and being on a roll so to speak. You know, the guys out there all know who he is obviously. He's played with 'em up until most of this year, and with a lot of them, too.
So I think that he has their respect. I think that's a good thing on both parts.

Q. More Freddy question. How much do these conditions help someone like him?
JAY HAAS: Well, as long as his back holds up it's a huge difference. I think he's easily 30 by me, and so that makes a huge difference coming into these greens.
Now, the greens have softened a little bit, but if I'm hitting 5-iron, he's probably hitting 7 or an 8. So I would trade with him and let him hit the 5 and me hit the 8.

Q. Have you ever seen him use a golf glove?
JAY HAAS: No. And have you ever seen his thumb? Certain times his thumb will crack. He uses superglue on it. It looks very painful. And I said, Fred just use a glove. Just try a glove in a Pro-Am, in a practice round. Never seemed to do it. It would be perfect for it, yeah.

Q. (No microphone.)
JAY HAAS: Now, I could go a lot of different ways on that. (Laughter.) No, he is not. No, he hasn't. I guess he just doesn't like the feel of it.
But, like I said -- and it might be bad right now. Ask him about it when he comes in here. If he'll show you, it's not pretty. That a spot that every shot there is a jolt there. So with the back and all this stuff we should give him a few shots, I guess.

Q. How much were you trying to keep the clubs dry? On a day like today it's a big issue.
JAY HAAS: Yeah, today wasn't as bad because the rain wasn't just coming down in buckets. But that's -- number one, Tommy has two or three dry towels in there, so if one gets wet we'll get another one in there. That's the number one, keeping my glove and the grips dry. Did a pretty good job of that today.
In these conditions the course is hard enough. But when you start adding stuff like that into it, makes it a little more difficult.

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