LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Bill Haas, the defending champion of the Bob Hope Classic, has a rooting interest on Sunday, besides himself, of course. He's rooting for the Chicago Bears and quarterback Jay Cutler, which whom the Haas family has an acquaintance.
Cutler attended the 2008 wedding of Haas' sister Haley to Steven Bright, a former quarterback, fullback, teammate and friend of Cutler at Vanderbilt. The Haas family, meanwhile, had rented out Fluor Field, the minor league ballpark in Greenville, S.C., on the day of the wedding. "They were doing a sports day," Haas said. "People were playing Wiffle Ball in the infield. People were tossing footballs back and forth."
Among them were Cutler and Haas' father, Jay, a Champions Tour star. "Steven Bright's dad was guarding my dad and Jay Cutler was the quarterback," Haas said. "I guess the play was a post route, just go as fast as you can. My dad tried to put it in a new gear and pulled a hammy. Somehow he limped down the aisle."
On Sunday, Cutler and the Bears are playing the Green Bay Packers for the right to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
"I'm pulling for Jay," Haas said. "He's a heckuva player. I hope he plays well."
Haas, however, won't have an opportunity to watch. The Bears' game starts at 3 p.m. (EST). Haas, who shot 62 on the Palmer Private Course at PGA West, is tied for fourth, three strokes off the lead and will otherwise be occupied with his own game then.
-- John Strege