Originally created 08/25/04

Haas is content playing on PGA tour

Jay Haas likely will make his debut at a regular Champions Tour event next week in The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, where seniors will be paired with kids in The First Tee program.

That doesn't mean the 50-year-old is ready to play against guys his own age.

Haas is 23rd on the PGA Tour money list and wants to qualify for the Tour Championship. (Another $7 million World Golf Championship in Ireland in September won't hurt his chances.) If he makes it to East Lake, it would be hard to pass up another year playing on the regular tour.

Haas already is a lock for the Match Play Championship and the Masters Tournament. Top 30 on the money list gets him into the U.S. Open. Being picked for the Ryder Cup already made him eligible for the PGA Championship.

The real carrot is a chance to qualify for the Presidents Cup.

Haas is 11th in the standings, which is based solely on money.

"Uncle Bob (Goalby) said, 'Man, you're screwing it up. You've got to think about the Presidents Cup next year,' " Haas said. "And hey - why not? If I play well toward the end of the year, that could spur me on."

So, does that mean he's going to put the Champions Tour on hold?

"I don't know," he said, his voice trailing off just enough to show he was serious. "I won't say I'm going to blow it off. But ..."

HONDA ON THE MOVE? The Honda Classic, which changes venues almost as much as a major, could be on the move again.

The only question is when.

The PGA Tour's tournament staff has made at least two visits to PGA National in the past month, and officials could know in the next 10 days whether relocation - across the street from Mirasol, in this case - is feasible, perhaps even by next March.

Mirasol has staged the Honda Classic the past two years (on different courses) and has a contract through 2006, with an option for four more years. Real estate development is three years ahead of schedule, and the club soon will be turned over to the members, who might not want a tournament in their backyard.

"We have an agreement to play at Mirasol," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said last week. "I assume that all parties involved would have to agree not to play there."

Unlike some of the previous Honda stops, PGA National is a known commodity. It held the 1983 Ryder Cup and the 1987 PGA Championship, and it would join Pebble Beach, Riviera, Firestone and Colonial as the current PGA Tour stops that have held majors.

The Honda Classic has been played on five courses in the past 10 years.

CANADIAN DETOUR: The Canadian Open was moved back one week, the last PGA Tour stop before the Ryder Cup. Tournament director Bill Paul wasn't sure how that it would affect the field, but it's starting to shape up nicely.

Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Stewart Cink, Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry are among Ryder Cup players who said they will play at Glen Abbey.


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