Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Haas tradition continues at Hilton Head

As if I didn’t have enough reminders about getting older, I got another Thursday at Harbour Town.

There were many days when I’d catch up with Jay Haas to talk to him about his round that day or something else.

On Thursday, it was Jay’s son, Bill, I was talking to in the same place where I so often talked with his father.

Bill, who was born in Charlotte, played golf at Wake Forest and lives in Greenville, S.C., is in his fourth full season on the PGA Tour. He’s been successful but hasn’t yet had the breakthrough moment many of us expected he’d have had by now.

He knows it and he’s an as anxious as anyone for it to happen.

Maybe this is the week.

Haas shot a 3-under par 68 in the first round that put him on the leader board, a good start on a course where it can go sideways in a hurry.

“It’s a place I come to where I’m not so concerned about how I play. It’s more of a fun week,” Haas said, standing outside the clubhouse.

“This is where my parents met. I came here every year as a kid, either on spring break or they just took me out of school. So I come here not as concerned about how I’m playing. Maybe that’s a good thing.”

A year ago, Haas was really down on himself and his game during a stretch where he missed six straight cuts.

Things aren’t going much better right now but Haas feels differently.

“My attitude needs to improve to being more positive and being more patient,” he said. “I think I’m learning that slowly. I wish I could learn it faster.”