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Name 'Haas' regularly on Masters rosters

Friday, April 09, 2010

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It's hard to imagine the Masters Tournament ever finding more of a home during a family reunion than when the Haas clan gets together for a barbecue and conversation.

When 27-year-old Bill Haas teed off just after nine Thursday morning, he became the fifth in his family to play a Masters round.

There is great-uncle Bob Goalby, who won the Masters in 1968. Uncle Jerry Haas played as an amateur in 1985. His mom's brother, Dillard Pruitt, qualified in 1992-93.

Of course, don't forget Bill's dad, Jay Haas, who played at the Masters 22 times between 1976 and 2005.

"My first memory at the Masters, I remember going to a day care across Washington (Road) at a church," said Bill Haas, who qualified for the Masters by winning this year's Bob Hope Classic. "I was like 6 or 7. I was there one day and I remember telling my mom I never want to go to day care again."

Haas' first round Thursday ended at even-par 72 with four birdies and 11 pars. He would love to have avoided trouble at No. 11, but he made double bogey there.

"I got off to a good start, which was everything I could hope for to be 2-under after three holes," said Haas, a three-time first-team All-America selection at Wake Forest. "Honestly, I hit a bad iron at 11 and bad tee shot at 13, and I feel like those are the only clubs I really missed. I'm very pleased with even par."

Haas said the best advice given from all those family members who had played Augusta National was simple stuff.

"You have to hit good golf shots," Haas said. "Even though the fairways are somewhat wide, it just doesn't allow you to miss shots."

Haas said standing on the first tee Thursday was totally different from any practice round.

"Yeah, it was a little emotional," he said. "The first three days here (playing practice rounds) are fun, but you aren't putting the score on the card. So you don't really know what it's going to be like."

Jay Haas knew exactly what it would be like. He followed his son around the course and said his last-minute advice was a text message sent Wednesday night.

"I haven't really talked to him a bunch," Jay Haas said. "I texted him Wednesday night and told him he was swinging as well as I have ever seen him swing. I told him I was proud of him and just play hard."

Jay Haas said the odds of a son following the footsteps of a PGA Tour father and each playing in the Masters made Thursday a special day.

"Think of all the people who try to be a good player, try to be successful, try to be a professional," Jay Haas said. "Not that many succeed at it. ... You have 90-some players who qualify, and you have how many people (who) are trying to play this stupid game? To think he is one of 90-some players, it's just the odds thing."

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