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Golf Australia Express : Issue 24
BILLHAAS is fast gaining a reputation as a clutch player. On Sunday the 29-year- old American drained an improbable 45-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole at the Northern Trust Open to nudge out compatriots Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. Just five months ago in a playoff at the TOUR Championship, Haas pulled off an incredible par save with his ball partially submerged in a lake and won that title and the FedEx Cup. After the year’s most exciting finish yet, Haas said he’d learned after winning the FedEx Cup that “anything can happen” out there. Standing over the putt having taken his medicine for a poor tee shot by laying up, the four-time winner on the PGA Tour thought he was a real chance to sink the monster putt. “ You never know, just hit a good putt and hopefully it goes.” Starting the final round two shots behind, Haas grabbed the lead with a birdie at the 17th to close with a 2-under 69, leaving Mickelson and Bradley— who were coming down the final hole—needing clutch moments of their own to force a playoff. They did just that. Mickelson jammed in a birdie from 25 feet as the crowd went berserk. Moments later it was Bradley who brought them to their feet with a 12-footer. The master and his apprentice fought bravely, with Bradley shaving the cup with birdie attempts on both playoff holes. Haas took home nearly $1.2 million and moved to a career-high world ranking, up 10 spots to 12th. OTG WHAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE PGA TOUR... WRAP THE BILL HAAS IT IN PLAYOFF FINAL STANDINGS 1 BILL HAAS USA -7 $ 1,188,000 T2 KEEGAN BRADELY USA -7 $ 580,800 T2 PHIL MICKELSON USA -7 $ 580,800 T4 SERGIO GARCIA ESP -5 $ 259,875 T4 JIMMY WALKER USA -5 $ 259,875 T4 JARROD LYLE AUS -5 $ 259,875 T4 DUSTIN JOHNSON USA -5 $ 259,875 T8 BO VAN PELT USA -4 $ 191,400 T8 J.B. HOLMES USA -4 $ 191,400 T8 JONATHAN BYRD USA -4 $ 191,400 Northern Trust Open, Riviera Country Club, California, USA “ You never know, just hit a good putt and hopefully it goes.”