We’re now at PGATOUR.com’s #7 player to watch for 2012, Bill Haas. Easy to see why the site had Haas in their top 10. He only won the TOUR Championship and FedEx Cup in 2011. Bright days seemed to be ahead for the son of Jay.
2012 started on a decent note for Haas, too. He finished T4 at the Farmers Insurance Open and backed that showing with a T19 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The next tournament for Haas the Northern Trust Open.
For some of the theatrics, Haas was not present. He was at the driving range in case there would be a playoff. He held a one-shot lead as the final pairing approached the 18th green.
Why was Haas even there? I mean. the 18th had yielded only six birdies all day. That was until the pair of Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson made their way there. Lefty would sink a birdie putt from outside 25 feet. Well, that’s one to join Haas. Bradley would follow suit with a putt of about half the distance of Mickelson’s. That scene is familiar, too.
A three-way playoff: Haas, Bradley and Lefty. The trio would head to the 18th tee, but none would be able to produce a birdie nor would any fall to the wayside. The playoff went to the 10th tee. Yes, the driveable, yet thought-provoking par-4…playing at 312 yards. Thing is, none of the three made the green on their drive. None were in a decent spot. It would be a game of who could leave himself the best third shot.
Haas was long and over the green in thick rough. Bradley and Lefty had poor angles into the green. Haas played the safe route and landed his ball some 45 feet from the hole. Bradley was in a bunker, but his shot went through the green. Mickelson hit a flop shot, and while the ball hit by the hole, rolled off the green into a bunker. Advantage: Haas.
All Haas had to do now was wait…
Needless to say, Bradley and Mickelson missed their next shot giving Haas the title.
That would be the lone victory for Haas in 2012. He would not post another top-20 finish until The Open Championship when he would place T19. Hass would finish in the same position, T19, at the WGC-Bridgestone.
The only other top 10 Haas would post for 2012 came at the Wyndham Championship with a T7. He would also battle a sore neck during this tournament. A T7 looks all the better knowing this, huh?
Haas would qualify for the Playoffs in an effort to defend his title, but he tripped up early on as he failed to make the cut at The Barclays. A T35 at the Deutsche Bank left him in a precarious position. He was advancing, but he must do well at the BMW Championship or he would be on a list of former FedEx Cup winners that would fail to make the TOUR Championship the following year.
All seemed well after the first three rounds. Haas had shot 71-64-72 and found himself around the top of the leaderboard. Haas was +2 over his final round as he arrived at the 14th tee. He was also currently inside the top 30. Play steady golf and East Lake was in his future.
I doubt the plan was to bogey four of his final five holes, but that’s what happened, and with that, a chance to defend his titles were gone.
Haas isn’t even in the top 30 on PGATOUR.com’s list for 2013. Seems like he has been forgotten.
The players in this series are taken from PGRTOUR.com’s list of 100 players to watch for 2012. Here are the others in PGN’s series…