U.S. Senior Open Championship

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Saucon Valley C.C. (Old Course)

Jay Haas

Quick Quotes

THE MODERATOR: Jay Haas, 4-under 6. Great round today. Can you talk us through it?

JAY HAAS: It was very much up and down early on.

I made a nice birdie on 1.

Drove it in the rough on 2, made bogey.

Two good birdies at 3 and 4.

Drove it in the rough on 5, made bogey.

Then drove it in the rough a couple more times and somehow scraped out pars.

But then starting about No. 8 I played much better the last 11 holes and had some chances.

I putted beautifully today. I think that was the real key to everything. When I had a chance to make a birdie it seemed like I did, and my lag putting was really good. I made a couple nice three-, four-, five-, six-footers for par to keep the round going.

Then it got calmer as we came in. I don't know why, but I just felt like I had gotten away with something maybe. But then I did start hitting it better and it felt a little easier out of the fairway.

Q. Do you think you got a little lucky with the afternoon --

JAY HAAS: No, we got a lot lucky. That was a big, big plus. I guess playing in the rain, the ball maybe goes a little shorter and everything, but it's just the whole hassle of the umbrella and towels and keeping everything dry. That's the thing that makes everything difficult.

The rough was very wet and thick. It's been thick but not wet like it was today. Maybe it'll dry out as we go on, but it's going to grow.

I need to drive it better.

Totally huge break to play in the afternoon today.

Q. The weather is supposed to improve the next three days. What do you expect out of the golf course?

JAY HAAS: I don't think it'll give away too much. I think everybody was shaking their head because in 2000, Hale got 17-under apparently, and it sure doesn't look like a 17-under course.

A lot of guys played pretty well that week, too. It wasn't -- he didn't win by 15.

I don't know if the weather was better or the rough wasn't as long. I don't know why the scores were that much better. But I don't see 17 being the number. It would be nice to be 17, but I don't think you'd need that much.

Q. Record keeping, you're the fifth player to shoot his age or better in a U.S. Senior Open, but more than that, what do you attribute -- are there certain mental things or physical things that allow you to play this kind of golf at your age?

JAY HAAS: I tell people that I still have a real passion to play the game, and I think that's helped me as much as anything. I still want to practice. I still want to play.

Shooting my age is great. It's a good goal to have because that's a nice number certainly at a USGA event. Anything in the 60s is always really nice.

But I think that just the competition part of it -- and the inward competition that I want to tell myself, show myself that I can still do it, and I do it occasionally and hit enough good shots to think, you know, maybe I could shoot some good rounds and hopefully string some together.

But I think just having that desire and want-to, I still do. I don't know why I do, but yeah, it's just something that I was -- in my head, I guess, I just really enjoy playing.

Don't enjoy practicing, but that's my excuse now. It hurts too much to practice so I don't have to.

Q. What did the Zurich, playing with Billy, do for you this year?

JAY HAAS: You know, it was a real treat, number one, to play with Bill and to play in that environment, to play with some of the best players in the world and see that I wasn't -- I'm overmatched without question, but I didn't embarrass myself.

You know, it was definitely a boost hitting some good shots under pressure. I've told people all along, no matter at what age, the ball doesn't know your name, it goes right where you hit it every time, it doesn't go straighter because you're Hale Irwin or Tiger Woods or whoever. If you hit a good shot, it's a good shot.

Playing with Bill, it gave me some confidence, a little extra confidence, but at the same time, I'm on the edge, I guess, of saying that's enough, and if I play too many bad rounds in a row, then I'm done. Maybe that drives me. I don't want to be done.

So I keep working at it and keep trying to shoot good scores.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
122024-1-1041 2022-06-23 22:58:00 GMT

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