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May 23, 2013

Jay Haas


KELLY ELBIN:テつ Two‑time Senior PGA champion who grew up in nearby Belleville, Illinois, joining us after shooting 5‑under par 66 taking the lead in the first round of the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid.
Jay, great playing, five birdies, no bogeys.テつ Sounds like a pretty strong start here at Bellerive.
JAY HAAS:テつ Certainly very excited about shooting 5‑under here.テつ Probably my lowest score ever at Bellerive, no matter what age I was.
So I didn't expect it going out.テつ I wasn't very sharp today, but managed to ‑‑ my misses were in the correct spots and I took advantage of a few good iron shots and just kind of kept it between the ditches, I guess you would say.テつ But very, very pleased with that.
When we teed off this morning the wind was blowing pretty good and it never got hot out there by any means and the wind was a little tricky, but again, I'm ecstatic with this.
The course is playing pretty long and to not make a to not make a bogey out there was pretty fortunate.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ Jay, you made birdie on No. 6, which is certainly one of the harder par‑3s out here.テつ Could you go through the birdies with that 2 on No. 6.
JAY HAAS:テつ Sure.テつ I hit my 3‑iron hybrid club I guess you would say, to about 15, 16 feet just on the back fringe and made that.
Then 8, I could reach the green, didn't hit a very good second shot over to the right and pitched it up to about 12 feet.テつ Made that.
And 11, I didn't hit a very good tee shot, but in the fairway and I hit a 7‑iron to about four feet.
Then again on 12, bad tee shot, but in the fairway and hit a 5‑iron to about 10 feet.
I'm saying this because Tom Kite was about 50 yards ahead of me on some of these.
But anyway, then 15 I did hit a good drive there and I hit a 7‑iron to about 10 feet.テつ I made that one.
Made a save at 16 I was in the bunker and hit it out to about six feet and made the putt.
18, I was right rough, just short of the green and chipped to about a foot and made that save.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ Jay also tied for third in the U.S. Senior Open played here at Bellerive.テつ Open it up for questions.

Q.テつ I wanted to report to you that Shenanigans in Belleville still serves the Wainwright burger on Main Street.
JAY HAAS:テつ I need to check that out.テつ Thank you for digging that up.

Q.テつ Is there, you know, so many years apart, it's a goofy question maybe, but is there some level of comfort like you said you didn't feel all that great going into the round, but you've played here, even though it's been many years, is there a certain level of comfort you get when you're out there?
JAY HAAS:テつ I think so.テつ Just knowing the holes and I've played here, I would have to say, more than anybody in the field.テつ Although that's not a lot, I've still played probably 20, 25 rounds more than anybody else in the field here.
So that's, I don't know if gives me an advantage, maybe it let's me know where to miss it.テつ Although there's a couple different holes, different route things at 2 with the lake and 8 a little different tee shot there, but generally speaking the lines off the tees are about the same as they have always been.
So I think that just gives me a little bit of comfort there just to know again where not to go and certain holes you need to really get a little extra distance perhaps and others you just got to put it in the fairway.
So I think just knowing the course.テつ The first time I played here I think it was in a sectional qualifier when I was about 16 or 17 or something.テつ And I shot a couple 80s or something.テつ And just, it was a man's course.テつ And the ball didn't go very far back then.テつ And so I've always thought of it as that course.テつ And when I come here, anything par or under I feel like I've stolen something kind of.

Q.テつ Peter Senior was in here talking about how the fairways seem to be in much better condition today than they had been earlier in the week.テつ Did you notice that too?
JAY HAAS:テつ I thought that the course is remarkably dry today.テつ Dryer too.テつ It's not by any means running fast, but we picked up a little bit of mud, I was a little surprised, because yesterday we were picking up a lot of mud on our tee shots.テつ And it drained quite well today and I would ‑‑ hopefully it's not going to rain, if it does, not too hard and it will kind of continue to speed up as the week goes on.
The greens, even through the monsoon that we had Monday night and on, the greens have been pretty good.テつ What I mean by that is the firmness of them.テつ They have not ever been soft.テつ But they're not rock hard either.テつ So just the texture of them is really nice.テつ But, yeah, the course was remarkably dry.

Q.テつ How many total rounds practice and everything over the whole years would you estimate you have played here?
JAY HAAS:テつ I haven't really thought so much about it.テつ But I've only played the '92 PGA, 2004 Senior Open here.テつ But then I've played just some casual rounds of golf with some friends members former members here.テつ I played in the St. Louis District Men's Tournament here back when I was maybe 19 or 20.テつ So I don't know, 30 rounds maybe.テつ I don't know.テつ That might be a stretch.テつ But it seems like it anyway.

Q.テつ Were you in much pain today from the back?
JAY HAAS:テつ A little bit.テつ It's tight, it doesn't allow me to kind of stay in my spine angle as we say and that's kind of my fault in my swing anyway.テつ So I want to stand up a little bit and I was not very consistent with my ball hitting, but again, somehow just got it around.
I think that just trying to hit the fairways was my first key and I did that a lot today.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ Jay hit 10 of 14 fairways in regulation.

Q.テつ It looked like your bunker shot on 16, that you actually, it sounded like you hit it a little thin, but it wound up really, really good.
JAY HAAS:テつ No, I hit it good.テつ You had a bad angle.

Q.テつ Bad sound.
JAY HAAS:テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ The other thing is, it's supposed to be even chillier tomorrow.テつ What does that mean for your back?
JAY HAAS:テつ I never really was cold today by any means.テつ I had the sweater on all day, but I would have probably kept it on feeling good.テつ So just hopefully the sun will come out a little bit.テつ But walking out there, this is a pretty hard walking golf course, so I was ‑‑ the cool of it never really bothered me a whole lot. テつI would like to see it 85 or 90.テつ That's what I remember St. Louis and Belleville being.

Q.テつ Anything especially difficult about the last three holes?テつ Because it did ‑‑ obviously 16 you had to get up‑and‑down, 17 it didn't look like you hit a particularly good drive, and 18 obviously was a little bit of a challenge.テつ Did it get worse kind of coming in?
JAY HAAS:テつ Yeah, I think I got a little tight, back‑wise.テつ I won't use that as an excuse, but there's some pretty hard holes.テつ 17, I ‑‑ 16 I mishit my hybrid club a little bit.テつ I had hit that club about six times today and hit it pretty well each time.テつ So I thought I was going to hit a good one there and I just hit it a little in the toe and hit that bank and came in the bunker.
But then 17, I missed a couple shots to the right and I could play from the left, I know I can get a third shot on the green eventually from the left side rough, but I hit it in the right and I'm in the hazard.テつ And so I over compensated a little bit there.
Then 18, I just, it's a hard driving hole.テつ Doesn't setup good for me, left to right wind.テつ I'm not saying that I didn't hit bad shots or didn't it didn't hurt or whatever, but it's just kind of, they're pretty hard holes and I'm not ashamed of the way I hit it there, but I would certainly much rather hit the greens there.テつ And I was pretty good hitting greens for a long time and then missed a couple there coming in.テつ But, yeah, it tightened up a little bit, but we're all a key and trying to fight through it.

Q.テつ How much family do you have in this area extended family and/or?
JAY HAAS:テつ We're going to find out tonight.テつ We're going over to my sister's house for dinner.テつ Her and her husband and hosting quite a few of us.テつ So I got my Uncle Bob and my mom's coming over, Uncle Bob and his wife and couple of his boys and their kids and we got friends here.テつ I got a guy, Mike Collom, who followed me around here when I was in junior golf and he's followed me probably as much as anybody in the St. Louis area.テつ And never misses a round when he can.テつ So he was out here today, I'll see him tonight, his brother and wife.テつ And so it will be, it will probably be 15 or 20 at dinner and that's fun, fun to see.テつ I was able to take care of them for tickets.テつ That was good.

Q.テつ How does he spell it?

Q.テつ Will Bob be out to see you play any this weekend?
JAY HAAS:テつ He actually watched the back nine today.テつ So at 84, that's pretty impressive.テつ But I think he was happy for me.テつ And he'll try to get over here when he can.テつ But the last time he walked nine holes I don't know when that was.テつ But I was happy to see him.
In fact, I have a picture ‑‑ and now if I can bore you with this for a minute‑‑ I have a picture at my house and it's of me and him and his caddie in the '65 Open here.テつ And I'm pretty sure it's on the 14th green, just walking off the 14th green.テつ And so I was 11 years old then.テつ And just 48 years ago, that's, I said to my caddie, here he is watching me play golf at 84 and I'm 59, I don't know, it's just kind of ‑‑ that went by way too fast.テつ But pretty cool.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ Jay Haas, in at 5‑under par 66 leader in the clubhouse.
JAY HAAS:テつ Thank you very much.

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