DUBLIN, Ohio Jay Haas played his first PGA Tour event as a pro in 1976 and he never expected to be setting records three decades later.
I thought if I could play for 20 years that would be a pretty good career, Haas said yesterday after finishing the third round at the Memorial Tournament. There was no Champions Tour then and hardly anybody, except maybe Sam [Snead], played beyond their early 40s. It just didn t pay.
But things changed. Now you can nibble at some big purses and afford to stay around. Plus, there s the Champions Tour, which is like a second life.
Haas has just about owned the senior circuit since joining it full time last year. In 21 events he has 14 top-10 finishes and five wins, including three in a row culminated by last week s win in the Senior PGA Championship.
He made a rare return to the PGA Tour this week and, in the process, tied the tour s career record for cuts made yesterday morning by completing his weather-delayed, second-round 71 for a 1-under total. Previously, Tom Kite held the record by himself with 590 cuts made.
I m a fan of Tom Kite and what he has meant to the game, so that s pretty good company for me, Haas said after adding an even-par 72 during the third round. I ll have to see if Tom is planning to come back and play any on this tour. If so, the game is on.
Haas indicated he will have limited opportunities.
I m going to try to qualify [tomorrow] for the U.S. Open, and I ll be able to play in the PGA, but that would probably be it for this year, he said.
THEY RE BACK: In a rare concession, PGA Tour rules officials reversed the disqualifications of Ryan Moore and Justin Rose.
It was announced late Friday night that they had been disqualified for walking off the course prior to the horn sounding to suspend second-round play because of darkness.
Rules of golf allow players to complete the hole they re playing, but not to begin play on another hole after the horn sounds.
When Moore and Rose walked off the 11th green they were informed by the walking scorer a tournament volunteer who is not a rules official that play had been suspended. When they asked if the horn had sounded, they were informed by the scorer that horns were not being used.
Knowing the penalty for starting another hole under those circumstances, they began to walk back to the clubhouse.
We weighed all the evidence, said Slugger White, the tour s on-site tournament director. They got bad information and they did ask [the walking scorer] what they felt were the right questions. We just feel like this is the right decision.
So Moore and Rose were back on the course early yesterday when second-round play was resumed. Moore completed a second straight 71, leaving him at 2-under. Rose also shot a 71 and was 2-over after two rounds.
Moore followed with a 74 in the third round, and said: It was just a bunch of bad information that seemed to make sense at the time. A perfect storm of events led to us doing something that we should not have. It was a weird situation at the end of a long day. We asked about the horn, but we probably weren t thinking as clearly as we should have been.
CHIP SHOTS: Big-hitting Bubba Watson hit a 327-yard drive on the par-5 seventh hole. He and his caddie were discussing his yardage to the green when a gust of wind blew over the golf bag. His driver landed on, and moved the ball, producing a one-stroke penalty en route to a double bogey. The most notable players who failed to survive the 36-hole cut at 4-over 148 were Jeff Maggert, last week s winner in Memphis, and Fred Couples, who followed a 69 with an 8-over 80.
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