Haas holds nerve to claim maiden win
Bill Haas followed his father Jay onto the Bob Hope Classic honour roll as he claimed his first PGA Tour title at the 90th hole.
Bill Haas followed his father Jay onto the Bob Hope Classic honour roll as he claimed his first PGA Tour title at the 90th hole in California.
Jay Haas, who won the 1988 Bob Hope Classic, the tour’s only annual five-round event, was back in Palm Springs at the PGA West’s Palmer course to see his 27-year-old son two putt from 27 feet for a final-round 64 to win by a stroke at 30 under par from Tim Clark, Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson.
Kuchar shot a nine-under 63 to get to 29 under.
Haas, playing with fourth-round co-leaders Alex Prugh and Watson in the final group, took advantage of his rivals’ caution after South Africa’s Clark laid up at the par-five 18th hole.
Clark then missed his subsequent putt to get to 30 under while Watson, on 28 under, failed to chip-in from the fringe for the eagle he needed to reach the same mark and was left to rue his decision to lay up on the 14th where he ended up only making par.
Haas, who had birdied the par-three 17th, went for broke off the tee and sent his iron approach to 27 feet to leave himself with the two-putt, keeping his nerve to seal victory.
“It feels unbelievable,” Haas said of his victory. “I was so nervous coming down the stretch. I hit a bad nine iron on 10 and I knew that was the club I was going to have to hit at 17 and that’s not a hole you want to be nervous over.
“I was able to hit a good one there and I still don’t know how I hit the shot on 18, my hands were shaking.”
Kuchar was joined in second place at 29 under by Clark – who carded a 65 in a bid for his first Tour win – and Watson, who birdied the 18th for a 66, while PGA Tour rookie Prugh finished with three birdies in a row for a 67 to claim fifth place at 28-under.
A 66 got Mike Weir of Canada sole possession of sixth place at 26-under, while Richard S Johnson of Sweden was the leading European at 20-under in a tie for 18th, with compatriot Carl Pettersson three shots further back.
Henrik Bjornstad of Norway finished at 16-under, Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson on 14-under, with England’s Brian Davis shooting a 68 to get to 13-under and compatriot Greg Owen closing out with a level par 72 to finish the week at nine under par.
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