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Golf Australia Express : Issue 13
FOR A FIRST prize outlay of $10 million, the FedEx Cup organisers couldn’t have asked for a better finish to the year-long PGA Tour points chase. Four days and 72 holes wasn’t enough to determine the winner of either the PGA TOUR Championship or the FedEx Cup, with three extra holes needed to split Americans Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan. Much was made of the five men who only had to win the TOUR Championship to guarantee the FedEx Cup went home in the back seat along with a life-changing payday. But one by one they fell away. Dustin Johnson was gone before the weekend, Matt Kuchar went 4-over in his final two rounds, Webb Simpson’s tournament never got going before a 3-over fourth round and Luke Donald couldn’t make up the three bogeys he made in his first 12 holes on Sunday. Australian Aaron Baddeley looked every bit the Championship champion when he blasted his way into contention with a third round 64 (par 70), but a trio of bogeys in the middle of BILL HAAS IT ALL his final round, as others lifted, ended any hope that another Australian might kick on. As the contenders faltered, overnight leader Mahan re-emerged with a birdie at the par-5 15th that ensured he matched Haas’ 8-under, despite a 1-over par final round. From that point on, Mahan’s luck didn’t so much run out as simply pile itself over in Haas’ corner. Mahan was convinced the title was his on the second playoff hole—the 17th— when Haas dribbled his approach into the water to the left of the green. With the ball partially submerged, Haas did what he could. ‘ What he could’ just happened to be the shot of the tournament—a lob from muddy water to finish within three feet. He saved par and forced another hole. One more was all Haas needed, getting up and down from 15 metres for par as Mahan had to settle for a bogey and come to terms with the fact he’d just cost himself exactly $9.876 million. Ouch. Mahan conceded it just wasn’t his day. “I thought I had won on the second playoff hole, and then he hits it out of the water to two feet,” Mahan said. “So it seemed like he was destined to win this week.” Just a week after finishing witha78attheBMW Championship when he started his final day tied for third, Haas’ nerves held firm. “ The back nine on Sunday, guys like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, they make it look like it’s just a practice round sometimes, and I know in my head they don’t feel that way, they’re not relaxed, they’re grinding, I get it,” he said. “I’m still learning when those moments come to grab them by the throat and embrace it as opposed to let it bother me. The more I play, I think I get better at that.” OTG WHAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE PGA TOUR FINAL STANDINGS 1 BILL HAAS USA -8 $ 1,440,000 2 HUNTER MAHAN USA -8 $ 864,000 T3 K.J.CHOI KOR -7 $ 418,666 T3 LUKE DONALD ENG -7 $ 418,666 T3 AARON BADDELEY AUS -7 $ 418,666 T6 JASON DAY AUS -6 $ 272,000 T6 CHARLES HOWELL III USA -6 $ 272,000 T6 ADAM SCOTT AUS -6 $ 272,000 9 BO VAN PELT USA -5 $ 240,000 10 PHIL MICKELSON USA -4 $ 227,200 WRAP THE