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Haas Nails Down 16th Champions Tour Victory
Jay Haas continued his fine play this week in the Principal Charity Classic. The 58-year-old closed with a 5-under 66 at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, to win the $1.75 million Champions Tour event by five strokes.
Haas, who posted rounds of 66, 65 and 66 in the 54-hole tournament, posted six birdies - including three straight on hole Nos. 14-16 - against one bogey to finish at 16-under 197, five clear of Larry Mize (68) and Kirk Triplett, who set a new course record with a 9-under 62. Fred Funk (66) and Tom Lehman (68) shared fourth at 203.
"(Saturday) I really played well, but (Sunday) was a special round," Haas told reporters. "And to kind of take hold of it and not give them a chance . . . that was pretty special."
The win was Haas's third in the Principal Charity Classic; his prior victories came in 2007 and 2008. It was also his 16th title on the over-50 circuit. "There was no smoke and mirrors. It was good solid golf, and hopefully it will boost me for the rest of the year," he added.
After opening with a 67, Triplett, a rookie on the Champions Tour, shot a 73 Saturday that pushed him down the leaderboard. Though he went very low in the final round, he couldn't overcome Haas, who entered Sunday with a three-stroke cushion over the field.
"I'm still kind of in shock I guess. I hadn't really been playing that well," said Triplett, who tied his personal best score as a touring pro. He also put up 9-under scores at the Greater Hartford Open and the John Deere Classic, both in 2000. "Every time I made a mistake it came up par, birdie, and then all of a sudden I felt like if I could get a couple more I might shake those leaders up a little bit."
But the story of the day was Haas. It's pretty obvious he has an affinity for the Glen Oaks course, and he confirmed as much following his latest win in Iowa. "Every hole just kind of looks good to me. When I stand up on the tee, I see where I'm supposed to hit it.
"I'm not really uncomfortable on any hole out here, and the greens were at a really good pace this week. This course just seems to suit me. I don't know what it is. I just feel comfortable here."
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/s/leaderboard/.