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Jay Haas set to make Champions Tour debut

Jay Haas likely will make his debut at a regular Champions Tour event next week in The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, where pros will be paired with kids in The First Tee program.

But that doesn't mean the 50-year-old Haas 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 Championships-American Express 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 tour.

Haas already is a lock for the Accenture 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.

Meanwhile, Haas might go to Pebble Beach next week only because he wants to play a tournament before the Ryder Cup.

"I can't take three weeks off going into the Ryder Cup," he said. "Pebble Beach is nice that time of the year."

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