Bill Haas is elated to have 68-year-old father as a partner in Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Bill Haas would not take no for an answer.

In his search for a partner for the Zurich Classis of New Orleans, the PGA Tour’s only official team competition, Haas had his eye on one player.

Didn’t matter if he hadn’t played in a PGA Tour event since 2010. Didn’t matter that he hadn’t made a PGA Tour cut since 2006. Didn’t matter if his last PGA Tour win came in the 1993 Texas Open.

And it didn’t matter if the player tried to persuade Haas to look elsewhere.

“I tried to discourage him, that he needed a partner that could help him a little bit more,” the player said. “I said, are you sure? I don’t want you to waste a week just to play with me. We can play any time. I kind of kept thinking, well, he’s going to come to his senses and find one of his buddies.”

Well, Haas did find a buddy to play with him – his dad, Jay. Father Haas, 68, finally gave his son the answer he was looking for and the two will begin play Thursday at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, Louisiana.

It will be the elder Haas’ 799th start on the PGA Tour, his first since missing the cut in the 2010 Players Championship. He has played four times on the PGA Tour Champions this year; he’s won 18 titles on the senior circuit to go along with nine PGA Tour titles.

“Just being with him out here and being on the same range with him again, looking down the aisles here and just seeing all the great players that we have, so it’s something I’ve been thinking about, certainly nervous about,” Jay Haas said. “Yesterday didn’t help me in any way because I didn’t play very well. So hopefully I’ll get better as the week goes on. It’s just fun being here, again being with Bill, getting the adrenaline flowing, and hopefully we can do better than I’m anticipating I’m going to do.

“The more I thought about it, the more I’m loving it. All the guys out here have been great. So many people have said this is unbelievably cool that you’re getting to do that.”

Bill Haas Jay Haas
Bill Haas Jay Haas

Captain Jay Haas of the United States Team watches the play alongside his son Bill on the eighth tee during the Saturday foursomes matches at The Presidents Cup at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea on October 10, 2015 in Songdo IBD, Incheon City, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Bill Haas, 39, who will be making his 442nd PGA Tour start, is glad his dad will be by his side. The winner of the FedEx Cup in 2011 and six PGA Tour titles can’t wait for Thursday to come.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to play together. Pretty special to be able to have your dad play in a PGA Tour event with you,” Bill Haas said. “I love him watching me play. Last week he came down and my mom came down and watched me at Hilton Head. I just enjoy him being out there. He listens to me go through my rounds on the phone or in person sometimes. When he’s there, he sees what I’m talking about, and he helps me with my game.

“It’s just a good opportunity to play golf and enjoy it and have fun, but also inside the ropes be competitive and him be able to see what I’m talking about when I say either I’m struggling or here I hit a good one, what do you see here?

“It’s just a special week. Something that I’m really looking forward to and I’ll remember forever.”

The two have played as a team before in non-official tournaments hosted by Peter Jacobsen, the other by Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon. As for now, the senior Haas has no intention of making an 800th PGA Tour start. He just wants to concentrate on No. 799 and have fun with his son.

“I tell people that I still see the shot and I still think I can do it, and a lot of times it doesn’t come off that way,” he said. “This is a pretty good eye opener. I’ve played with Bill at home a lot, and he’s 30, 40, 50 (yards) in front of me and it’s a steady diet of it. This is one of the longest courses out here. So it’s probably not the greatest spot for me to debut. I still feel like I can do it at certain times.

“With a partner, a great partner, hopefully I can contribute when the time comes and not embarrass myself. I don’t want to just show up and go through the motions. The competitive spirit in both of us, and certainly me, I’m going to be hard on myself, but I always am. I always have been. I kick myself all the time hitting bad shots.

“Hopefully I can hit some good shots and make some birdies and everything, but ultimately, to be with my son, again, on the grandest stage here, that’s what I’m trying to take from it.”