Haas holds his nerve
Fourth Tour title for 29-year-old
Last Updated: February 20, 2012 6:22am
Bill Haas: Won a three-man play-off for the Northern Trust Open
Bill Haas holed a monster 45-foot birdie putt to win a three-man play-off for the Northern Trust Open in California.
The 29-year-old carded a final-round two-under 69 to earn a share of the overall lead with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley - but it was on the second play-off hole that he produced the magic which earned him the win.
Mickelson was the only one of the trio to drive well at the 10th hole but, despite landing in the rough, Haas finished the better, chipping on to the green and then sinking a massive putt that put the pressure on his rivals.
And with neither Mickelson nor Bradley able to land a birdie of their own, Haas was left to celebrate his fourth Tour title.
"I never expected to make a 40-footer, and especially in that situation," Haas told pgatour.com.
"That was a little bit of luck involved, but felt like I put a good roll on it, and it was meant to be, I guess."
It was a frustrating day for Bradley and Mickelson.
The duo, the latter of which was chasing back-to-back titles after winning at Pebble Beach last week, both carded even-par 71s, making no movement in their score column from the third round - although they needed 18th-hole birdies to even force a play-off after Haas shot ahead of them.
US unless stated
-7 B Haas
-7 K Bradley
-7 P Mickelson
-5 D Johnson
-5 J Lyle (Aus)
-5 S Garcia (Spn)
-5 J Walker.
Haas won at the second extra hole in the play-off
"Bill hit a tremendous putt," Mickelson said.
"We're thinking it's a very difficult three, it's a defensive hole. You're just trying to make four believe it or not.
"It's only 290 yards, 280 yards, but you're trying to make par. He ended up making a 50-, 60-footer and that's going to do it."
That will have been of particular annoyance to four-time major winner Mickelson, who appeared set fare for a win after a storming five-under 66 on day one.
The course dried up for a lot of players after that, though, with Sergio Garcia's stunning round one of the exceptions.
The Spaniard carded a seven-under 64, meaning he ended the tournament on five-under, two shots behind the leaders.
However Garcia was left to rue his five-over 76 on Friday - with the Ryder Cup star finishing level with Jimmy Walker, Jarrod Lyle and Dustin Johnson.
Justin Rose was again steady, with his second par round leaving him two-under for the week, something world No.1 Luke Donald would have loved to have been able to say.
Having started out with a solid 70, 72, 71 run, he posted a horror seven-over 78, leaving him way down the leaderboard, although likely Ryder Cup rivals Rickie Barnes (eight over) and Stewart Cink (nine over) spared some of his blushes.
Another man to have a bad day was Bryce Molder, who started out a shot behind Mickelson and Bradley and ended it six adrift, dropping five strokes on his way around.
Padraig Harrington, Ireland's three-time major champion, ended four over for the tournament.