Haas, Watson to Tee It Up In Iowa

June 07, 2007
By Abbey Mastracco PGATOUR.com Contributor

This week when the Champions Tour travels to Des Moines, Iowa for the Principal Charity Classic, the winner is anyone's guess.

With 13 events so far this season, 12 different Tour players have won. Only Jay Haas has multiple wins under his belt, with victories in the Toshiba Classic and the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.

The competition this week at Des Moines Glen Oaks Country Club is stiff, as seven of the Champions Tour's top 10 money leaders will be in the field, including Haas.

"I think everyone who is somewhat successful is competitive," Haas said.

Haas' fifth place tie last weekend at The Boeing Championship at Sandestin kept him securely at No. 1 this week on the money list and in Charles Schwab Cup standings. Only Haas and Boeing Championship winner Loren Roberts have hit the $1 million mark this season.

"Being able to focus on (the Champions Tour) has helped my game," Haas said. "It's one less round and I get a couple extra days off each week."

Also in the field this week is Denis Watson. The Senior PGA Championship winner has been on a roll this year, finishing in the top 10 six times in nine events. Watson has yet to miss a cut this season, and his record shows that he has fully recovered from his shoulder surgery.

I feel fortunate because I've had this stubborn perseverance which has kept me going," Watson said. "I was pretty frustrated with all the injuries I had. You think of giving up at times."

After finishing tied for eighth last week at Sandestin, Watson is No. 2 in Charles Schwab Cup points and No. 7 on the money list.

Defending champ Gil Morgan will be on hand to defend his title, but he will be going up against a slew of newcomers. Haas, Peter Jacobsen, Chip Beck, Donnie Hammond, Kenny Knox and Jack Renner are all competing in the event for the first time.

Four of the six past winners of the event are in the field as well. But their chances of winning are just as good as the next players, considering there have been no repeat winners of the event.

Glen Oaks may see a past winner take home the trophy this year, as Morgan is a strong contender, ranked No. 17 on the money list, while 2004 winner, D.A. Weibring, is also a possibility at No. 13 in 2007 earnings.