Jay Haas likely will make his debut at a regular Champions Tour event next week in The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, where seniors will be paired with kids in The First Tee program.
But that doesn't mean the 50-year-old is ready to play against guys his own age.
Haas is 23rd on the PGA Tour money list and wants to qualify for the Tour Championship (another $7 million World Golf Championship in Ireland next month won't hurt his chances). If he makes it to East Lake, that would make it hard to pass up another year playing on the regular tour.
Haas already is a lock for the Match Play Championship and the Masters. Top 30 on the money list gets him into the U.S. Open. Being picked for the Ryder Cup already made him eligible for the PGA Championship.
But the real carrot is a chance to qualify for the Presidents Cup.
Haas is 11th in the standings, which is based solely on money.
"Uncle Bob [Goalby] said, 'Man, you're screwing it up. You've got to think about the Presidents Cup next year,' " Haas said. "And hey -- why not? If I play well toward the end of the year, that could spur me on."
So, does that mean he's going to put the Champions Tour on hold?
Haas got a twinkle in his eye and smiled.
"I don't know," he said, his voice trailing off just enough to show he was serious. "I won't say I'm going to blow it off. But. . . . "
Meantime, Haas might go to Pebble Beach next week only because he wants to play a tournament before the Ryder Cup. He didn't hear good reviews about the TPC at Boston (Deutsche Bank Championship), and he has never been a big fan of Glen Abbey (Canadian Open).
"But I can't take three weeks off going into the Ryder Cup," he said. "Pebble Beach is nice that time of the year."
Honda Hitting the Road?
The Honda Classic, which changes venues almost as often as a major, could be on the move again. The only question is when.
The PGA Tour's tournament staff has made at least two visits to PGA National in Palm Beach in the last month, and officials could know in the next 10 days whether relocation -- across the street from Mirasol, in this case -- is feasible, perhaps even by next March.
Mirasol has staged the Honda Classic the last two years (on different courses) and has a contract through 2006, with an option for four more years. But real estate development is three years ahead of schedule, and the club soon will be turned over to the members, who might not want a tournament in their backyard.
"We have an agreement to play at Mirasol," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said last week. "I assume that all parties involved would have to agree not to play there. If we found something we looked at and said, 'Boy, this is great, this is a long-term answer,' it would be helpful to get there earlier than '07."
Unlike some of the previous Honda stops, PGA National is a known commodity.
It held the 1983 Ryder Cup and the 1987 PGA Championship, and it would join Pebble Beach, Riviera, Firestone and Colonial as the current PGA Tour stops that have held majors.
Tournament director Cliff Danley said no one from the PGA Tour has talked to him about a potential move to PGA National, and his staff is gearing up for the '05 Honda Classic to be played at Mirasol.
The Honda Classic has been played on five courses in the last 10 years. Danley was asked if there was any possibility the tournament could relocate in six months.
"Stranger things have happened," he said. "But I don't see us playing anywhere but Mirasol. Somebody would have make the decision, talk to Mirasol, see this place that is chosen, get the networks involved, get the tour involved and most assuredly get Honda involved.
"But if somebody said tomorrow, 'Start thinking about a place,' we'd think about it."
The Canadian Open was moved back one week, the last PGA Tour stop before the Ryder Cup. Tournament director Bill Paul wasn't sure how that it would affect the field, but it's starting to shape up nicely.
Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Stewart Cink, Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry are among Ryder Cup players who said they will play at Glen Abbey. Chris Riley also wants to play the Canadian Open, although that depends on the status of his wife, Michelle, who is expecting their first child.
Tiger Woods will not return to the Abbey, where he hit that 218-yard bunker shot over the water to win in 2000. Woods and Jim Furyk are among those playing the week before at Boston.
Ben Crenshaw has taken his friendship with President Bush to a new level. Crenshaw now is a Bush "Pioneer," a title granted to those who have raised at least $100,000 for the president.
Crenshaw invited Bush -- then the Texas governor -- to speak to the Ryder Cup team on the eve of the Americans' record comeback in 1999 at Brookline, Mass. . . .
Oak Tree Golf Club in Edmond, Okla., will get the '06 Senior PGA Championship. That's one year too early for Jeff Sluman, who won the '88 PGA at Oak Tree for his only major. Sluman will only be 49 that year. . . .
U.S. Women's Amateur champion Jane Park, NCAA champion Sarah Huarte and Paula Creamer have been chosen to play in the Women's World Amateur Team Championship, to be played Oct. 20-23 in Puerto Rico. All three played on the Curtis Cup team. Morgan Pressel is first alternate, followed by Women's Amateur runner-up Amanda McCurdy. . . .
Americans are 12-4 in the individual World Golf Championships.