Champions Tour Q SchoolDecember 2, 2015

Wake Forest head coach Jerry Haas in position to earn Champions Tour card

As the head coach of the Wake Forest men's golf team, Jerry Haas is having a bounce-back season with the Demon Deacons back among the nation's elite for the first time in years. But as a golfer, Haas could be breaking new ground come next year.

Haas, 52, is playing in this week's Champions Tour Q School -- and playing well. An opening 65 at TPC Scottsdale's Champions Course has Haas T-2 after the first of four rounds. The top five finishers will be fully exempt on the Champions Tour in 2016 with the next seven finishers earning conditional status on the senior circuit.

Haas, the brother of nine-time PGA Tour winner Jay Haas, and the uncle of 2011 FedEx Cup champ Bill Haas, is a former PGA and European Tour player himself. He won three times on the Nationwide Tour before being named his alma mater's head golf coach in 1997. More recently, he captured the 2015 Carolinas Open and was low club pro at this year's Senior PGA Championship.

But Haas isn't the only big-name college coach among the field of 80 this week. Illinois' Mike Small, a fellow former PGA Tour player and a two-time low club pro at the PGA Championship, is also giving a run at the Champions Tour a shot this week.

Small recently told Golf World's Tim Rosaforte that even if he earned playing privileges, he wouldn't give up his day job coaching the Illini. After an opening 77, he probably won't be faced with that choice this year, but considering he turns 50 in March, there could be more attempts in the future.

Regardless of how the week turns out for both Haas and Small, there's a good chance their two teams will be battling for an NCAA championship in June. In the current Golfweek ranking, Illinois is No. 2 and Wake Forest is No. 3.


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