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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > Champions Tour > Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf > Round 3


Jay Haas coasts to five shot victory

Jay Haas was unstoppable down the stretch of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.

Haas had an eagle and three birdies on the back nine to shoot a 5-under 67 and post a five-stroke victory Sunday over Peter Jacobsen and Craig Stadler for his third Champions Tour win.

"It sure wasn't as easy as it might appear," Haas said. "I was never out of the lead, but I certainly felt pressure."

Haas responded to that pressure by making a total of 12 birdies and one eagle, playing the back nine in 13 under during the three rounds of the 54-hole tournament.

Haas, the rookie of the year on the over-50 circuit in 2005, had a three-round total of 15-under 201 at The Club at Savannah Harbor, a 7,087-yard layout on an island in the Savannah River.

Jacobsen (67) and Stadler (70) each finished at 206, one shot better than Hale Irwin (68) and two better than defending champion Des Smyth (66).

Haas, who missed the cut last week at the Verizon Heritage, a regular PGA Tour event at nearby Hilton Head, S.C., led all three days of the 54-hole event.

Haas made the turn at even-par but an eagle at the 530-yard par-5 11th, which has always played as the easiest hole on the course, seemed to put a charge in his game. Haas added to his lead with birdies at No. 13, 17 and 18 for his first win this season.

He also made what he considered a key 6-footer to save par at the par-3 15th, stepping away from the putt a couple of times.

"All week long, I did a good job of slowing myself down," Haas said. "I'd been rushing things a bit."

The eagle gave Haas a two-shot lead he never relinquished.

"I put one of those drivers with a big head in my bag this week," Haas said. "On the tee at No. 11, I just had this vision. I knew where I wanted to place the ball, and I did. Then, I had 237 yards to the front of the green and I felt like a 3-wood would get me there."

Did it ever.

His ball rolled to within 14 feet of the pin and Haas rolled it in.

"It was a pretty simple putt, if you can call it that from that distance," Haas said.

Jacobsen, five shots off the lead to start the day, made a furious charge -- including successive birdies at Nos. 9-11 -- and briefly was tied with Haas at 10 under. But Haas, playing two holes behind Jacobsen, regained the outright lead with his eagle.

Jacobsen got it to 11 under with birdie at No. 14 but gave that one back with bogey at the par-3 17th to finish at 10 under.

Stadler, who had put an old set of irons back in his bag this week, also struggled down the stretch. His tee shot at No. 17 narrowly missed a nearby lagoon and his bogey there dropped him back to 11 under. Stadler finished with another bogey at the 18th.

"I saved the worst for the end, anyway," Stadler said. "I haven't been playing all that well, but it's getting there."


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