With the first round of the 2014 Masters in the books, Bill Haas holds a one-stroke lead after shooting a 68. The 31-year-old has never won a major tournament, but that won’t stop him from making history at the Masters this weekend.
What exactly does it mean for Haas to make history?
To my recollection, no other set of relatives have ever won the Masters, a tournament that has been around since 1934. Haas’ great-uncle, Bob Goalby, was crowned champion of the Masters in 1968. If Haas can pull off the feat, he will bring great honor to a family that is rich in golf history.
Haas’ father, Jay Haas, has made 19 cuts at the Masters. His uncle, Jerry Haas, made an appearance in 1985. His uncle on his mother’s side of the family, Dillard Pruitt, also played at the Masters in two consecutive years in the early 1990s.
Since Goalby is the only one to put on the green jacket, he owns bragging rights. However, that could very well change if Haas continues to play like he did Thursday. He birdied six holes, including No. 18. It wasn’t always pleasant, but he played with enough determination to show that he has what it takes to win it all.
Even though history is against Haas, that won’t prevent him from showing that all of those years of watching his family members play on the golf course didn’t go to waste. It’s true that only 11.7 percent of the previous 77 winners at the Masters were in first place after Day 1. But Haas isn’t going to let a silly statistic such as that keep him from achieving greatness.
With three long rounds still to play, it’s premature to be talking about who will win the tournament. Augusta National has a way of taking even the best professionals and turn them into amateurs. It certainly says something when only four golfers shot in the 60s, a group that contains the last two winners at the Masters.
Haas will have to play the best golf of his life if he wants to join Goalby in making history. Even if a win at the 2014 Masters is his greatest accomplishment, it will be well worth it.