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Jay Haas, the defending champion of the 3M Championship at the TPC Twin Cities, held the trophy after winning the Champions Tour's Principal Charity Classic golf tournament on Sunday.

Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press

'Unbelievable second life' on Champions Tour for Haas, mates

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS
  • Star Tribune
  • June 5, 2012 - 1:18 AM

He arrived at TPC Twin Cities on Monday only hours after wrapping up his latest professional golf victory.

No, not him.

But Jay Haas was quick to note the symmetry.

"All is right with the world with Tiger Woods winning on the PGA Tour and Jay Haas winning on the Champions Tour," the 58-year-old said at an appearance to promote this year's 3M Championship, scheduled for July 30-Aug. 5 at the course in Blaine.

Haas won the Principal Charity Classic on Sunday at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines. He shot a 5-under 66 in the final round to win by five strokes. He finished with a tournament-record-tying 16-under 197 in the three-day event.

Then he set a course for TPC Twin Cities, site of his 3M Championship victory last summer that was his first win in nearly two years.

Now he's got two in 10 months.

"This is the best I've played in a long, long time," he said. "This was a big win for me last year. At 58, I think they [the wins] have more meaning knowing this is going to end. At 28, 38 it was like this was never going to end. Now I know that it will someday and probably fairly soon. I'm still trying to hold onto the magic."

Haas said he never considered skipping Monday's promotional event to rest for this week's Regions Tradition, a Champions Tour major.

"Not a hardship at all," he said.

Haas further explained that obligations on the Champions Tour are part of the deal. He won $262,000 for his victory on Sunday, compared to $31,000 entire rookie year on the PGA Tour in 1977.

"It's an unbelievable second life for all of us," he said.

Haas isn't the only family member basking in recent success. His son, Bill Haas, is the defending FedEx Cup champion -- with a cool $10 million bonus -- on the PGA Tour.

"As any parent knows, to see your kids do anything well they like to do and are passionate about it makes a parent feel good," Jay Haas said.

Star-studded

Tournament director Hollis Cavner said he again expects most of the top golfers on the Champions Tour to be in the 3M Championship field. One exception is Tom Watson, who has played in just one full event this season because of an injured right arm.

Among those expected are Haas, Fred Funk, Bernhard Langer, Mark Calcavecchia, Minnesota's own Tom Lehman and recently named 2013 Presidents Cup captains Fred Couples and Nick Price.

"Rookies ask if all the events are good and where they should play, and this one always gets high marks," Haas said. "Once they get here, they know they're coming back."

General admission to the event is once again free.

Milestone

Total charitable contributions will reach $20 million during this year's tournament, celebrating its 20th anniversary. No other Champions Tour event has hit that dollar amount in just two decades.

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