Jay Haas on track to become oldest player to ever make PGA Tour cut

By Sports Desk April 22, 2022

Jay Haas is on the verge of becoming the oldest player to ever make the cut of a PGA Tour event, at 68 years old.

Haas is competing in a duo with his son, Bill Haas, at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, with the pair shooting 65 in the first-round four-ball, and backing it up with 66 in the second round's alternate shot format to finish Friday on eight under par.

At the time of finishing their round, eight under was the projected cut line.

They were sitting pretty at 10 under after birdieing the 11th hole – their fourth birdie with one bogey up to that point – but further bogeys on 14 and 17 forced a clutch par putt on 18 to hold on.

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    The 15-time major winner has not played competitively since missing the cut at The Open in July, having struggled with plantar fasciitis in his right foot – pain in the heel caused by tissue inflation.

    However, Woods, who was also absent from last week's Hero World Golf Challenge, will be aided by a cart when he teams up with world number one McIlroy in Florida for Hurricane Ian relief.

    The pair will compete against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in the 12-hole competition at Pelican Golf Club.

    "I can hit golf balls. It's just hard getting from point A to point B, so [the cart] will certainly help a lot," he said.

    "Being in a cart is a totally different deal. That's something I've done at home quite a bit. When I was trying to gear up and be able to play in the Hero and see if I could actually do it, the walking part was the challenge, it wasn't actually swinging.

    "I've got to get this plantar to heal and that just takes time. It's not something that happens overnight. It's going to take a lot of rest and healing and unfortunately, treatment. It's a tough road."

    Later this month, Woods will play in the PNC Championship alongside 13-year-old son Charlie, who he advised to copy McIlroy's swing – a compliment that means a lot to the four-time major winner.

    "[Tiger is] probably the best iron player that's ever lived, probably the best golfer that's ever lived. Period," McIlroy added.

    "I think if he can just get it out in the fairway, and get some looks in the fairway, I think we're going to have a really good chance.

    "It's flattering that, in my opinion, the best player ever is telling his son to swing like me. My dad taught me how to play the game growing up, and his thing was to always hold your finish, and I think that's what Tiger's dad taught him back in the day.

    "Tiger's picked up on that and tried to instil that in Charlie. Charlie is a great kid, and he is a great young player. We are all excited to follow his progress and see how far he can go."

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    Hovland defeated Scottie Scheffler by one stroke in last year's edition, and by defending his crown, he joined Tiger Woods (2006 and 2007) as the only other player to win this event in consecutive seasons.

    He entered Sunday's play at the Bahamas' Albany Golf Course with a three-stroke buffer, but was made to sweat in the middle stages as playing partner Scheffler eagled the par-five sixth hole to cut the margin to just one.

    Scheffler could not keep it up, posting a bogey and a double-bogey to close the front-nine and give Hovland some breathing room. However, he came roaring back down the stretch, with three consecutive birdies on 14, 15 and 16 to pull to within two.

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    Scheffler could not hit the green in regulation to give himself a birdie putt, and lipped out with his chip, finishing with a par to claim the runner-up spot yet again as the world number two shot a 68 while Hovland finished with a 69.

    Speaking to NBC after stepping off the final green, Hovland did not hide his relief after surviving his late blunder.

    "It's freaking nerve-wracking," he said. "I mean I was leading by five I think after the turn, but still, you're never that comfortable.

    "I didn't play all that great on the back-nine, but it was good enough.

    "We're at an amazing resort, there's only 20 guys – but it's the best 20 guys in the world, basically."

    Cameron Young finished outright third at 12 under, with Xander Schauffele in fifth at 11 under and Justin Thomas rounded out the top five at 10 under.

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    McIlroy said last month that Norman must "exit stage left" and that the bitter civil war engulfing the sport would not end "unless there's an adult in the room".

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    "It was a bit of an olive branch," McIlroy said. "He came back to me straight away, [saying] 'I really think golf can be a force for good around the world... I know our opinions are not aligned but I'm just trying to create more opportunities for every golfer around the world.'

    "Fine. Really nice. Then, a couple of weeks later, he does an interview with The Washington Post and says I've been brainwashed by the PGA Tour.

    "We've had this really nice back-and-forth and he says that about me.

    "I thought: 'You know what? I'm going to make it my business now to be as much of a pain in his a**e as possible'."

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