The Loop

Haas plays with ailing coach on his mind

October 10, 2010

POTOMAC, Md. -- Jay Haas competed at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship with an old mentor and friend in mind.

Longtime Wake Forest men's golf coach Jesse Haddock, 83, for whom Haas and so many other tour pros played, is at a hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C., after having a stroke Oct. 2.

"He's in intensive care and doesn't look good, but he's surprised them up to now that he's hanging in there," Haas said after the final round Sunday at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. "He had a stroke and there is bleeding on the brain. They say there is no way to operate because of his fragile state, but they think with medication they might be able to get it under control."

Only days before being stricken, Haddock had visited the Ensure Classic at Rock Barn to see some of his former players, including Gary Hallberg, who took Haddock's tips and encouragement to heart by firing a final-round 61 to win for the first time on the Champions Tour. Haddock attended the Wake Forest-Georgia Tech football game last Saturday night. "He was at the game but when he got home he didn't feel good," Haas said. "They took him to the hospital and he got worse as the night went on. But then he's had a little bit of recovery."

Haddock was a giant of the college scene as the coach at Wake Forest for three decades, leading the Demon Deacons to NCAA championships in 1974, 1975 and 1986 while winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title 15 times, including 10 in a row from 1967-1976.

-- Bill Fields