Far Hills, N.J. – Jay Haas, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour and a member of three USA Ryder Cup teams, has been selected as the recipient of the 2006 United States Golf Association Bob Jones Award.
Presented annually since 1955, the USGA’s highest honor is given in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. The award seeks to recognize a person who emulates Jones’ spirit, his personal qualities and his attitude toward the game and its players. The award will be presented Feb. 4 at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga.
Haas, 52, who continues to play successfully on both the PGA and Champions Tours, was a member of the victorious 1975 USA Walker Cup squad. He has since played in the Ryder Cup in 1983, 1995 and 2004 as well as the Presidents Cup in 1994 and 2003.
Known for his consistency, Haas placed in the top 125 in career earnings from his first year as a professional in 1976 until 1999. In addition, he has 141 top-10 finishes in his professional career. At age 47 in 2001, he regained his Tour card by finishing 92nd in earnings. He was tied for the third-round lead at the 2004 Players’ Championship at age 50 and also finished in the top 10 at the U.S. Open (T9), Players Championship (T6) and the Tour Championship (T7).
In 2005, he defeated No.1 seed Vijay Singh in the second round at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships before losing to Chris DiMarco in the third round.
He has played in more than 30 USGA championships, including 26 U.S. Opens. His best Open finishes have been at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, where he tied for fourth in 1995 and shared the first-round lead with a 66 in 2004. In those 26 appearances, he has recorded three top-5 finishes and five top-10s.
Haas finished second in his first Champions Tour outing at the Senior PGA Championship and posted a T3 at the 2004 U.S. Senior Open in his third start.
He won nine events on the PGA Tour, first at the Andy Williams-San Diego Open in 1978 and lastly in 1993 at the H.E.B. Texas Open. With career earnings of nearly $14 million, Haas’ best two years on Tour were 2003 ($2.5 million) and 2004 ($2 million)
A native of St. Louis, Haas was introduced to golf by his uncle, 1968 Masters champion Bob Goalby. He won his first trophy, the National Pee Wee Championship in Orlando, Fla., at age 7.
A 1975 graduate of Wake Forest University, he won the NCAA Championship that year and also received the Fred Haskins Award as the nation’s best player. A two-time All-American, Haas played college golf with Curtis Strange and Scott Hoch.
Golf extends throughout the Haas family as Jay’s brother Jerry is the golf coach at Wake Forest University and his second son, Bill, was an All-American at Wake Forest and a member of the 2003 USA Walker Cup squad. Bill now plays on the Nationwide Tour. Brother-in-law Dillard Pruitt played on the PGA Tour and is now a Tour Rules official.
Haas and son, Bill, are the only father and son duo to compete in the U.S. Open together twice (2003 and 2004). Both made the cut in 2004.
He and wife, Janice, have five children and live in Greenville, S.C.