Haas looks for elusive win at familiar Harbour Town

04/19/2013 8:45 PM

03/05/2015 10:04 AM

Bill Haas watched his father, Jay Haas, come up short at Harbour Town Golf Links more than anyone. Jay Haas, now on the Champions Tour, competed on Hilton Head Island for three decades and yet finished with just a trio of top-10 finishes to his name.

Bill Haas hopes to reverse that trend this weekend at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, where the Greenville resident enters Saturday's third round tied for fourth after shooting a 2-under 69 Friday afternoon.

A win would bring an end to a dubious honor for those from the Palmetto State, as a South Carolinian has never claimed the tartan jacket in the tournament's 44-year history.

"If I were to win on Sunday, it would be extra special, just being close to home," Haas said. "This is where my parents met, we've been here a lot, we vacationed a lot growing up. We always came to this tournament.

" ... I've said it a bunch -- no South Carolinian has ever won. I would love to be the first."

Haas may owe the course at Harbour Town a victory as a debt of gratitude, seeing as his origin began here in Sea Pines, as Jay met his future wife, Jan, on the concourse here during his rookie year in 1977.

"Even though it's a four-hour drive from my house, it still feels like (my) hometown -- it's got that hometown feel," he said. "My parents met here, we joke that this is probably the reason I exist, the fact that they got together at the tournament."

Haas will attempt to erase his own misfortune here over the next two days. The former Wake Forest standout has competed in the event every year since finishing Q-School in 2005 but is still awaiting his first top-25 finish. He has missed the cut in five of eight attempts, with his best mark being a tie for 27th in 2006.

Friday's performance could spell for a promising finish, though. He came out of the gate with pars on 11 consecutive holes before collecting a trio of birdies in a four-hole stretch. The first came on a 60-foot putt on No. 3 after he hit a provisional ball on the tee shot, and then he saved par with a key up-and-down on No. 7.

"I joked that I turned a six into a three on that (No. 3) hole," he said. "My round could have been much higher today, so I'm pleased with that hole specifically."

Haas will shoot for his fifth top-10 finish, which includes a tie for third at the Northern Trust Open in February. He's made 10 of 11 cuts so far this season and finds himself ranked 20th in the FedExCup standings.

He's missing just one more big thing so far this season -- his first PGA Tour victory of the year. And, in turn, giving the Palmetto State its first tartan jacket.

"There's no secret to it, you've got to play well," he said. "Nobody is going to hand it to you, you've got to earn it. This weekend is going to be tough, but hopefully I'll go out and get one."

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