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March 30, 2003

Jay Haas


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Jay, for joining us. I know you're a little disappointed, but at the same time you ought to be really excited with that last putt. It probably secured your position in the Masters.

JAY HAAS: After realizing I wasn't going to win to just finish as high as I could was the object. I didn't really know what I needed to do to accomplish that goal of getting in the Masters, but Padraig and I were kind of a shot or two, one way or the other, most of the day, and with his birdie at 16, my bogey, he was ahead by one, and he knocked it in the water at 18 -- I don't know, just the whole thing, mixed emotions, I suppose. I'm disappointed, but if I had made a bogey or two coming in and had lost by a shot, that would have been more disappointing, but we just got run over by Davis today. I saw he was 15 and then the next time I looked up he was 17. We kind of lost him there at 14 and 15 and didn't really know what was going on. It was an unbelievable round.

Q. How good is that 64 in the conditions today?

JAY HAAS: Probably one of the best rounds we've ever seen out here. I'd put it in the Top 10, I would think. We got a little bit of a break around the turn. The sun came out a little bit and the wind didn't blow as hard as I think everyone was expecting, but the fact that we didn't have to play in any rain was nice. I think 65 by Robert Allenby was almost as equal because he had rain, wind, cold to play in. Actually when I saw he posted 10, I thought that might be the number. It just didn't look like it was going to get any better. Then all of a sudden Davis was doing his little trot around the turn. I guess he birdied, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. I was doing what I wanted to do, birdies at 11 and 13, and he was just getting away.

Q. Jay, there's been some talk about how Davis hasn't been able to finish the last few years on Tour. What do the players think about him and his toughness and what he showed today?

JAY HAAS: I think it's probably 99 percent of the field would like him finishing for them. I never thought that he couldn't finish. He gets there more than most people, so when it doesn't happen for him they're saying why doesn't it and all that, but I've always thought he's one of our top five players out here for a long, long time, but I don't think the guys ever say Davis is up there, we're okay. I would think that maybe we expect him to do what he did today more often.

Q. Jay, can you talk about No. 16, what your thinking was on that? Did you know that Davis had eagled at that point?

JAY HAAS: No, I guess I wasn't thinking real clearly there. I did not know he had made eagle, and I guess I was hoping that maybe he had made a bogey somewhere in there and obviously there was a nice cheer. I thought maybe it was a birdie and maybe he'd get back to 15 and I was 12. I just felt like I had to birdie the last three holes. I certainly could have done it laying up, but I had kind of a sketchy lie there. It squirted out to the right on me. I actually hit kind of the shot distance-wise I think it would have been okay getting close to the front of the green, but it squirted off to the right on me there.

I guess I was thinking too much about winning and not enough about protecting what I was doing there. I wish I had it back. I obviously would have done it differently.

Q. Was there match dialogue between you and Padraig as you were playing your round?

JAY HAAS: Not a whole lot. I guess with twosomes one guy hits and when the second guy is hitting the other one is gone in the fairway. Our balls weren't that close together. A little conversation, but we were both -- on a day like today it's not a walk in the park, and so it's -- we were nose to the grindstone and all that stuff. We didn't have a lot of conversation but it was a very cordial round. We were both pretty excited about our finish in the scoring trailer there.

Q. As the round went, in fact, it was a pretty fair finish, wasn't it?

JAY HAAS: I think so. We both hit a few that we didn't like but hit some good ones, too. To end up like we did there, that was fine with me.

Q. How much does getting in the Masters soften the disappointment?

JAY HAAS: It does, but I just think the fact that I keep accomplishing some of my goals here, it makes it a little bit better. I don't think -- I obviously didn't want to make those bogeys on 15 and 16, but as I look back on the week I'll feel that that's definitely another bonus to the week, to be going in there one more time.

Q. As well as you're playing are you making long-range plans to stay on this Tour?

JAY HAAS: I haven't really given it much thought. A lot of people have asked me what I will do next year. I said the other day I would think I'd play the majority of my golf on the Champions Tour next year. But again, it's still early in the year. It kind of depends on how I finish. I'm having the time of my life right now. I don't want to think too far ahead.

Q. Talk about your previous Masters. Have you been playing this well going into any one of them?

JAY HAAS: Oh, actually one year I led the money list early in the year. In '88 I guess I won the Hope and finished second at San Diego and I was maybe in the top three or four money winners going in there and I missed the cut. That doesn't seem to make a difference to me. Usually when I got there I start feeling good about my game. I love hitting balls on the range there. The turf is so great. Just the whole atmosphere gets me pumped up - the first major of the year, the history, you name it. There's 50 different things that get me excited about being there. This is maybe as consistent as I've played prior to the Masters.

Q. In view of all the outside activities that may go on there this year, does that concern you?

JAY HAAS: I guess not, no. I'm probably like, what, 85 percent of Americans that -- I can't say don't care, but I guess I don't feel like my opinion one way or the other means a whole lot in that matter. You know, probably in hindsight they may do things differently, but it is what it is.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Jay, can we go through your round.

JAY HAAS: I birdied 2, two-putted from the front fringe from about 50 feet or so, bogeyed 6, and I had some mud on my ball, came up short of the green, pitched to about ten feet, missed that putt.

11, hit a good 3-wood up in the greenside bunker, blasted out to about 12 feet, made that.

13, 7-iron to about three feet.

15, drove it in the left rough, trying to play as a matter of fact, laid out, missed the green, terrible lie, pitched it to about ten feet and made it for an unbelievable bogey.

Then 16, drove right in the water, dropped, 7-iron about 25 feet, two putted for bogey.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Jay, for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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