Haley Confident During Second Chance on PGA Tour

Former Scots standout secures career-best finish at Colonial

For Paul Haley II, the long and winding road back to competing alongside the best golfers in the world might finally be paying off.

The former Highland Park standout is back as a regular on the PGA Tour after a decade of ups and downs on the Korn Ferry Tour and smaller regional circuits.

At age 35, Haley returned to the AT&T Byron Nelson — where he made his first professional start in 2012 — for the first time since his rookie season.

Two weeks later, he bounced back from a string of rough results with a fifth-place showing at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth. His first top-10 finish earned him $356,700 in prize money, more than his previous 19 events combined.

“I feel like I’m playing pretty good,” Haley said in mid-May at the Byron Nelson, where he missed the cut alongside a gallery of family and friends during both of his rounds at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney. “I’ve been playing better than how I’ve been scoring.”

Indeed, Haley had missed five consecutive cuts before catapulting into contention over the weekend at Colonial Country Club on May 25-28, where he played his final two rounds in 7-under par. He finished only one stroke behind fellow HP alum Scottie Scheffler, who is ranked No. 1 in the world. The two were paired together during the final round.

“Paul has always been a guy I looked up to growing up. He was a guy I watched playing all the time,” said Scheffler, who is eight years younger than Haley. “It was good having some good vibes out there for both of us.”

Haley made history as part of four state championship teams for the Scots before he graduated in 2006, in the same class as superstar athletes Clayton Kershaw and Matthew Stafford.

He thrived in college at Georgia Tech yet struggled after turning pro, missing the cut in 16 of his 19 Tour events before being relegated to the second-tier Korn Ferry circuit in 2014.

Haley’s long-awaited return to the PGA Tour came after he finished third on the Korn Ferry money list a year ago, including one victory. Since then, it’s been a matter of finding consistency.

“I’ve been three-putting too much, which has thrown some strokes away. But I’m very happy with how I’m hitting it,” he said. “I’m excited to be back competing.”

Haley said he’s maintained a positive attitude while working his way back to the biggest stage in golf. Now he wants to stay there — and, ultimately, to win.

“I’m trying to put some good weeks together,” he said. “The last couple of years have been a grind, but I’ve been playing well, so I want to keep it going.”

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