LAKEWAY, Texas – Jay Haas had trouble trying to explain his success in Texas.
“I just know I like the South Texas area,'' said Haas, a five-time winner in the state. “I enjoy the people, the scenery, the atmosphere and the food. As soon as we get down there, my wife and I are ready to go out for some Mexican food.''
Haas completed final preparations Thursday for his title defense in the Champions Tour's FedEx Kinko's Classic. The event starts Friday.
During 20-plus years on the PGA Tour, Haas won the Texas Open in San Antonio twice and the Houston Open once. He won the Champions event in San Antonio.
“I definitely look forward to getting back down there again, no doubt about it,'' Haas said.
Last year, Haas rallied from three shots behind Bruce Fleisher with a final-round 65, and beat Austin's Tom Kite and Mark James by two shots. Haas birdied three of the final four holes and needed just 21 putts on the final day.
The victory last year followed a win the previous week in the Legends of Golf. Haas successfully defended his title in the Legends of Golf on April 22, making up four shots in the final eight holes and beating Kite on the first hole of a playoff. Haas also won the Toshiba Classic in March.
Kite will try again to end a mystifying steak. A lifelong Texan, he hasn't won in 107 tries in his home state.
Nick Price is looking for his first Champions Tour victory.
“I feel like if my game gets in better shape, I can go out and win,'' he said.