ST. LOUIS -- Jay Haas is originally from Belleville, Illinois and does not make it back to the area very much. But that did not stop him from wanting to put on a show for the so-called "hometown" fans here in St. Louis.
Haas was the local fan favorite this week at the Senior PGA Championship. And he was in the last grouping Sunday at Bellerive courtesy of starting the day eight under par and just two strokes behind Kenny Perry for the lead.
Unfortunately, bogeys on 11, 14 and 16 doomed his chances of taking the championship. Still, Haas says he will have great memories of this weekend.
"It was a thrill, I'll tell ya. Making a birdie at the last hole the fans really gave me a great ovation as I was walking off the green," Haas said. "It just makes me feel great. I'm disappointed. I felt like I put up a good showing for the hometown crowd but disappointed with finishing second if that's possible. But we just don't get that many opportunities to win, at least I don't. So to not pull it off is disappointing."
The top 15 finishers (including ties) automatically qualify for the next year's Senior PGA Championship. Thus, Haas is guaranteed a spot next May 22-25 at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
Those also eligible include: Champion Kohki Idoki, Kenny Perry, Mark O'Meara, Kiyosha Murato, Jim Rutledge, Kirk Triplett, Duffy Waldorf, Rod Spittle, Russ Cochran, Dan Forsman, Peter Senior, Bart Bryant, Berhhard Langer, Joel Edwards, Tommy Armour III, Steve Pate and Fred Funk.