"All the time, people are always mistaking him for me and me for him," said Haas. "It never occured to me that we look alike, but I guess we must because it keeps happening. Other players, caddies, you guys in the media. I think part of it is that we're built the same."
According to the PGA Tour media guide, they can't be twins. Haas, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, was born May 24, 1982, in Charlotte. Watney, 6-2 and 180, was born many miles away in Sacramento, Calif., April 25, 1981.
"Five times a week," said Watney, estimating the frequency of incorrect identifications. "We were going to the range together two weeks ago in San Diego. Bill was asked for his autograph, and I think he signed my name. We played against each other in college a little, but we had uniforms. I played for Fresno State, and he played for Wake Forest. Completely different colors. But now, I might be in the locker room and another player will come up and ask how my father, Jay, is doing. I have to tell them I'm not Bill."
When Fresno State almost upset USC in football a couple years ago, Haas said he was showered with congratulations. "And I'm thinking to myself, 'Go, Wake!'" said Haas. He and Watney have not yet conspired to really mess with their peers by, say, planning to wear the same outfits. "We came close," said Watney. "On Friday at the Cialis Western Open last year, we both wound up with light blue pants and white shirts. Took some heat for that."
Kirk Triplett, a tour veteran, said it's "scary" how closely Haas and Watney resemble each other. "They sort of act the same, too," Triplett went on. "They're both nice kids who have similar games. I expect they'll be battling out here together for years."
Haas and Watney are good friends; the difference between them is easier to detect when they are seen together at dinner -- without their hats. Haas, despite his youthful face, is follicle-challenged. Jay, 53, has more hair than his talented son. "You said that," Watney said. "I didn't."
Bob Verdi is a senior writer for Golf World magazine.