April 8, 2000
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Hunter Haas looked at the large scoreboard next to the 10th green and started doing the math. Staring down a 10-foot birdie putt, the University of Oklahoma senior figured he needed two birdies, while getting help from the players still on the course.
"That was the first time that I actually looked at the leaderboard," said Haas, who finished his first nine holes at one-under 35. "When I was walking down the 10th fairway I noticed what the leaders were at. I also figured that if I didn't finish under par today, I would be going home."
Despite a final round score of one-over 73, Haas is going home. His two-day total of nine-over 153 wasn't good enough to join the more than 50 players who will continue to play this weekend. Joining Haas is an impressive group including Jose Maria Olazabal, Mark O'Mera, Ben Crenshaw and Seve Ballesteros.
"I had my opportunity but the shots didn't fall for me," added Haas. "I did a better job of placing the ball in the right spots today, but I could never get the ball to fall. This was a great experience for me and if I ever get the chance to come back, I'll do better. Course knowledge means so much out here."
- The crowds at Augusta National are some of the most knowledgeable in the world. Some of the patrons (not fans) have been coming to this tournament since the day it started. While their knowledge of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson is unquestionable, information on Hunter Haas was always questioned. Comments corrected most by the Haas family during the two days here were that Hunter was the nephew of Jay Haas, he was the U.S. Amateur Champion and he attends Oklahoma State.
- Best Shot of the Day - Haas sunk a 35-foot putt over a hill and down a steep hill for his first birdie of the day. "That really got me fired up since I was close on so many putts until then."
- Worst Shot of the Day - The first drive of the day which ended up in the rough left of the fairway, behind some trees. "When I reached my ball I heard some of the fans say that I had no shot," Haas said. "I thought they were right at first but I got lucky." He curved his second shot around the trees and onto the green. He made par.
- Lasting Impression - When asked about what he'll remember most about this week, Haas said "The people here in Augusta and how the professional players made feel like I belonged here. I really didn't expect that but when Ben Crenshaw came up to me before the round today, I really felt like I had been around these guys for a long time."
- As for future plans, Haas says that he will most likely hold off turning professional for another month or so. "I will probably turn pro after playing in the Colonial Tournament in a month," noted Haas. "I could play in the Byron Nelson as an amateur, but I don't think that I want to waste my exemption. Right now, I want to get home, concentrate on my classes until graduation on May 6."
- Ex-Sooner Glen Day had one of the best rounds on Friday with a five-under 67. Currently two-over after two rounds, Day is eight strokes behind the leaders and will tee off early Saturday morning.