Bill Haas admitted he "didn't have it" early on Thursday and it showed as he played his first four holes in 1 over.
But he rolled in a 4-footer for birdie at the fifth hole to get back to even par -- then really got things going with consecutive birdie putts of 32, 13 and 4 feet beginning at No. 7. Haas went on shoot a 65 that left him two strokes off the lead.
"I was kind of hitting hooks early -- the first, second and third holes -- kind of nasty looking draws off the tee," Haas said. "Then No. 5, which is one of the tougher holes, the pin was set up back left and it kind of set up for the hook shot."
Haas said the 32-footer he made for birdie at the seventh hole actually felt like a two-stroke swing. "(The ball) was moving and probably would have gone six feet by if it hadn't gone in," Haas said.
The former Wake Forest All-American picked up his first PGA TOUR win in January at the Bob Hope Classic and has earned more than $1.4 million. His father Jay was a former champion of that event, as well.
Bill is playing in his third tournament at Colonial and looks to improve dramatically after finishing 77th in 2006 and missing the cut two years later. His father Jay played here 17 times with a tie for 18th in 2003 his best ever.
Right now the cut line is even par, and unless things get significantly more difficult this afternoon at TPC Sawgrass, it's not likely to move much.
In fact, Jay Haas thinks players who finish at even par are definitely out of luck. That would include Haas himself, who's even through 36 holes.
"I would think there is no chance," Haas said. "One under is kind of iffy, so even par is definitely out."
Here are the notables who have already finished their second rounds at even par or higher and likely making alternate plans for the weekend.
|Jay Haas||Even||Was 2 under until a double bogey at the last hole left him with a bad taste|
|Justin Rose||Even||Bogeyed the final hole when he found the water|
|Geoff Ogilvy||Even||Was 2 under early in his round, but three bogeys in a eight-hole stretch did him in|
|Padraig Harrington||1 over||Was at even par until a double-bogey at No. 6 (his 15th hole of the day) sealed his fate|
|Rory McIlroy||1 over||Was at 1 under after three straight birdies early in his round, but a double bogey at 10 derailed him|
|Mike Weir||2 over||Shot 74 on Friday, including a double bogey at 14|
|Rickie Fowler||3 over||Hot rookie came in with top 10s in his last two starts, but couldn't make anything happen on Friday|
Jay Haas is playing in his record 29th PLAYERS Championship. His son Bill, who turns 28 later this month, is also competing this week at THE PLAYERS Championship.
Haas, 56, now plays the Champions Tour, where he's won 14 times and picked up two Charles Schwab Cup titles. His best finish this year has been a tie for fourth at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, a team event that he played with his good friend Fred Couples.
Jay is playing well on Friday, though. He shot 33 on the front and is 4 under for the tournament through 30 holes. Bill is also playing this morning and he's 3 under for the tournament through 25 holes.
Earlier in the week, the elder Haas had joked about a practice round he and Bill played with Argentina's Angel Cabrera and Andres Romero.
"Wow, that was a bad mistake," he said, chuckling. "Angel hits his hybrid club past my driver, and Bill is a solid 25 by me, and Angel is another 15 by Bill. And Andres is another 5 or 10 by Bill sometimes. You could tell the difference. If you had your eyes closed and you wondered which one was the 56-year-old guy, you could tell by the sound of the ball coming off the club.
"But that's neat for me to see that and see how good these guys are. There were holes where Angel was 40 by me and then I hit the green and make a par, and he made a par. So that's the good part about golf is that it's not about the strongest and the fastest and all that stuff. I don't have to return his serves or anything. But I wouldn't mind being 40 yards longer." -- Helen Ross
Jay Haas is off to a fast start in Friday's second round of THE PLAYERS. Haas holed out from the greenside bunker on the par-4 first, then made another birdie on the par-5 second to get to 3 under for the championship. -- Mark Spoor