Tag:bill haas
Posted on: March 4, 2012 8:21 pm
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Honda cherry on top of great start to '12 season

Tiger Woods reacts to his eagle on the 18th green at the Honda Classic. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

The 2012 PGA Tour season has been absolutely nutty good, and we haven’t even had the first major yet. But how good? Check out some of the finishes we’ve had in just 10 events.

  • Farmers Insurance Open: Maybe not exactly the way you’d want to win, but the Kyle Stanley collapse at Torrey Pines is definitely a moment you won’t soon forget, and gave us our first “Is this really happening” moment of 2012. Brandt Snedeker’s reaction and eventual win will be forgotten here much like Paul Lawrie at Carnoustie, but is paved the way for collapses early in the season.
  • Waste Management Open: This one was great for so many reasons. You had Stanley bouncing back to win a week after the collapse you read about above. You had Spencer Levin leading by six shots heading into the final round and by seven shots after his first hole on Sunday only to fall apart. Oh, and you had the biggest crowd in the history of the TPC Scottsdale event. 
  • AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am: Probably the one you’ll remember out of all the ’12 events so far, with Phil Mickelson coming back against Tiger Woods with that sizzling 64. 
  • Northern Trust Open: Just the fourth tournament in a row that had scream-at-your-TV moments. Bill Haas was the eventual winner, but the birdie putts Mickelson and Keegan Bradley made back-to-back to join Haas in the playoff were so incredible it made this guy do whatever the heck that is.
  • Mayakoba Golf Classic: It went up against the Accenture so not as many people noticed, but a rookie named John Huh won in an eight hole playoff. 
  • The Honda Classic: You already know, but Tiger posting a 62 on Sunday was only the second coolest thing that happened just behind Rory McIlroy simultaneously winning his first PGA Tour event of the year and becoming world number one for the first time in his young career. 
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Posted on: February 22, 2012 6:27 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 10:19 am
 

The biggest surprises on Wednesday at Accenture

Luke Donald takes a drop during his match against Ernie Els. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

Unlike March Madness, the Accenture Match Play is easily the biggest toss up in sports. Rankings? They’re meaningless, and anything can happen. That said, we give you our five biggest upsets of the first round of play. 

Ernie Els defeats Luke Donald -- It wasn’t that Donald was a top seed and Els came in the rugged vet holding a 16 seed, but it was a guy most had forgotten about beating the defending champion and world number one in the world! Els played great, and could definitely make a run here after gaining some confidence by smoking past Donald 5 and 4. 

Miguel Angel-Jimenez defeats Sergio Garcia -- Most thought Sergio, coming off a final round 64 at Riviera to tower up the leaderboard, would be a good pick to possibly upset Rory McIlroy in their side of the draw, but he couldn’t even get out of the first round, falling to his fellow Spaniard. The bright side of things? At least his blue shoes looked good.

David Toms defeats Rickie Fowler -- No, the seeds weren’t far apart (No. 8 vs. No. 9), but Toms openly admitted he hasn’t spent much time on his golf game. That didn’t stop him from taking out fan-favorite Fowler 1-up and giving himself a shot at Martin Kaymer in the next round. 

Ryo Ishikawa defeats Bill Haas -- It isn’t easy coming to an event like this after a gutsy win like Haas had last week, but it seemed like he’d roll Ishikawa after being 3-up with five holes to play. Ryo won four of the next five holes and advanced in the one PGA Tour event he seems the most comfortable in. 

Sang-Moon Bae defeats Ian Poulter -- There aren’t a lot of guys you’d call match play specialists, but Poulter is one of them, so to have him fall to such an unknown like Bae is a head-scratcher.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter. 
Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:24 am
Edited on: February 21, 2012 11:38 am
 

MMSC: Examining the weekend in golf

Phil Mickelson celebrates his birdie on the 18th hole this past weekend with Keegan Bradley. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon 

Golf is probably the hardest sport in the world to play, and play well, so it makes total sense that everyone is a critic, and that’s what we’re going to do here at Monday Morning Swing Coach. Cover just the PGA Tour? Nope. We're going to try to expand this Monday feature to anything and everything that happened the past weekend. 

Who needed Sunday’s playoff win the most?

Sunday at Riviera, the 2012 PGA Tour season continued its incredible start by pitting three big names in a playoff most thought wouldn’t happen after second shots from the final group found the 72nd green. 

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley brought major-like intensity when they both drained improbable putts to force a playoff against already-clubhoused Bill Haas, the eventual winner when he cashed a similar crazy birdie putt on the second playoff hole. 

So we know Haas won, Mickelson and Bradley lost, but looking back, who needed the win more? 

Why not start with the champion. Haas is one of those quiet players you just know is good. No matter if at times he gets down on his own game, we’ve seen him pull off shots in his last two wins that could make a career, and any son of a PGA Tour star always has that monkey on his back to beat the legacy of his dad. 

Haas needed the win because he keeps winning. This is his third consecutive  year with a PGA Tour title, and he did it quietly against the hottest golfer to date (yes, that would be Mickelson, who ran away with Pebble and looked like he’d go back-to-back if not for some shaky putting to end his Sunday round) and a young guy who just doesn’t seem like he will be a flash in the pan. 

I think Haas needed to win that just to show people that he is damn good. Like, "One of the Best Players on Tour" good. He can and most likely will win a major. He could win three times a season and you wouldn’t be shocked. He showed Sunday that no matter the competition, if he sticks to his game, things turn out well.

Now we turn our focus to Phil. It was a strange week for Mickelson. He started out hot. Needed some eagle magic to keep his charge at back-to-back wins going, and decided at the most critical time in the tournament to forget the speed of the quick Riviera greens (three putts on No. 14 and 15 and a birdie putt on 17 that was dead center but a roll short). 

Mickelson doesn’t really need any more regular-season PGA Tour wins. If he wins, awesome. Free fuel for the 'copter. More sunglasses for the wife. More ridiculous animal-skinned belts to loop around his belly. I think Phil exits these tournaments either happy or sad, and winning isn’t exactly what does that for him. 

His reaction when Bradley matched his birdie on the final hole of regulation shows why he has so many fans. He was so pumped up when he dropped his 30-footer (honestly, the most excited he has ever been on a golf course? I think the walking fist pump was more exclamatory than his horizontal jump at the Masters), but to go over and high-five Bradley after his answered? That was great stuff. For Phil, the only thing that is going to get his legacy deeper is majors, but it would have been fun to see him go back-to-back. That said, he is still in great shape to be the favorite at Augusta, and should be if he continues this. 

No, the answer to my question is Bradley. Yes, he has two PGA Tour wins and yes, one of those was a major, but I think if he would have pulled out this win on Sunday, against one of his idols and a really talented player in a tough playoff, it would have meant more to him than winning the PGA Championship. Yes, you can re-read that, it’s true. 

Winning the PGA was career-making. He will forever be a major winner. He gutted out some birdies when it counted. But I bet it takes you at least 15 seconds to think about who he beat in that playoff (got it yet? It was Jason Dufner, and that was just six months ago). 

If Bradley’s putt on the first playoff hole had just a little less speed, we’d be sitting here talking about a guy that has three wins in under a year and has been on tour for just 13 months. The kid is for real, and a win there would have been enormous for him going forward not just in 2012, but in the coming years after that. 

Now, about all the other Bradley stuff ...

The dancing and spitting has to stop 

I know that slow play has been a huge issue the last few years on the PGA Tour. During final rounds, Twitter is basically one big complaint about the pace of play by just about every golf writer out there (which, by the way, just makes complaining about it as annoying as the actual snail pace these guys go about it). 

But Bradley’s little diddy he does before shots, and the spitting routine he has adopted, is really getting under people’s skin, and for good reason. 

No, I’m not going to sit here and preach about it being a gentleman’s game. Golf is a little different and still old school and that’s why I think certain companies aimed at making it younger aren’t ever going to work out (the golf money is older), but you can’t take 17 practice swings before a shot and expect to get away with it. 

Bradley is going to get the Sergio treatment soon if he keeps this up, and it has been going on for a WHILE now. He steps up ... stops ... realigns ... goes at the ball ... stops ... resets. It’s agonizing to watch as a golf fan, just a step lower than when you watched Jean Van de Velde start taking his shoes off at the 1999 British Open. 

The preshot routine needs to quiet down, but the spitting needs to go away now. It’s unnecessary and makes him look like an immature kid.

Yani, Yani, Yani

I’m going to drop in Tweets of the Week here at MMSC when I see fit, and I think this one from LPGA’s Jane Park says it all ...

Tseng is a machine, and how do you know she’s a machine? Because she has reevaluated how she approaches the media after a year SHE WON 12 TOURNAMENTS WORLDWIDE! If I ever had 20 percent of that season I’d probably wear the same underwear to every tournament and she has figured out some ways to improve? Incredible.

Her win this week against a talented field shows that, and we should expect much of the same for the rest of 2012. Don’t be shocked if she gets to 12 fairly late in the summer and piles on. We have seen women’s golf dominated before by big names. I’m starting to think this could be the one that eclipses all those before. 

And what I did this weekend ... 

I was in New Zealand this weekend caddying for a friend of mine playing in the New Zealand Open, and while she played great considering she’s coming back from a year off the tour because of a thumb surgery, it was our house guest that got me the most nervous. 

Alison Walshe, a friend who played at the same college I attended, stayed with us and the entire week was a social experiment for me. It was the first time I could SEE in a person that they expected to succeed. All week she just looked like she had the thing in the bag, and this is coming from a girl that has never won on the Ladies European Tour or LPGA. 

She played well the first round. Tied for the lead the second, and as we were finishing up our round on the front nine, Walshe was coming down 18 needing a birdie to possibly force a playoff (the eventual winner was in the fairway behind her, needing a birdie to get to 10-under and win outright). 

I write about this because I finally get the nerves you see with tour wives and families when they’re watching their loved one with a putt to win. One of the other caddies actually remarked about my pacing and fidgeting because I was so nervous for my friend, who hit an absolutely incredible chip (think Mickelson’s second shot on the second playoff hole, only if the grass was muddy) to six feet and then rolled in the birdie putt to put herself in a position to get into a playoff.

Sure, Lindsey Wright made a lengthy birdie putt a few minutes later for the victory, but it was exciting and a new experience to see someone you know and care about go through the clutch motions and come out successful. I’m confident now you’ll see Walshe holding a trophy before the year is over. 

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow Shane Bacon and Steve Elling on Twitter.

Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:59 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2011 1:01 pm
 

Haas facing delicate PrezCup predicament?

NORTON, Mass. -- Maybe it was the disappointing round he'd just completed, bad timing with the questioning, or the implication that his position is tenuous as it relates to a certain global competition later this fall.

When Bill Haas was asked about his presumably delicate Presidents Cup predicament after the final round at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday, the typically low-key veteran wasn't exactly in an agreeable mood.

With the points about to be readjusted after play at TPC Boston finished, Haas ranked 10th in points on the U.S. list, the last spot where he is assured of cementing a position on the 12-man team. Players just behind him on the list were in the mix for a victory, including Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker and Rickie Fowler.

Haas had just signed for a 2-over 73 when he was asked whether making the team as a captain's pick might be dicey, given that his father, Jay Haas, is the assistant captain of the U.S. team. Captain Fred Couples already was excoriated in some circles for using one of his two at-large picks on Tiger Woods, who hasn’t won in two years and was considered a huge reach in the eyes of many.

"I would think it would make it easier for them to pick me because I think my dad wants me to be on the team," Haas said, who grumbled at the logic of the question.

Where to begin? Pretty clearly, picking Haas, if it comes to that, would leave the door open for charges of nepotism. Haas was offended by the suggestion that it would be secoind-guessed, because it implied that he doesn’t warrant being considered.

"They're ignorant," he said. "Then they haven’t been paying attention. To hell with them ... It would be a fair pick if they picked me."

Terse tone aside, that's all true. He had two victories in 2010 and has lost in two playoffs this year, the two-year period in which the points list is derived. But it's a bit more complicated than that, isn’t it?

Apparently, the delicacy of his situation hasn’t been broached in the House of Haas. Maybe it should be.

With Couples having already burned a controversial selection on Woods, those who are outside the U.S. automatic top 10 as the final round in Boston was concluding included two-time 2011 winner Keegan Bradley, Furyk, who is the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year, former Ryder Cupper Fowler and Gary Woodland, who won earlier this year and is a power player in the Couples mold. Bradley is the lone American to have won a major this year.

As his post-round mood gradually brightened, Haas specifically mentioned several of those players as being equally deserving, then came full circle to the original notion that was posed -- finishing in the top 10 in points would make it a lot less complicated. Haas is assured a spot in the third FedEx event in two weeks in Chicago.

"You know, if I play well next week, it takes care of everything," he said.

Chicago marks the final week that players on either the U.S. or International squads can move into, or out of, the automatic top 10.

Posted on: May 5, 2011 6:32 pm
Edited on: May 5, 2011 7:07 pm
 

Haas the homeboy lights up Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Not fair.

The PGA Tour has been coming to the Quail Hollow Club since 2003, but first-round leader Bill Haas has been coming here forever.

His father, Jay, a former tour standout himself, is a member of the club and Bill has thus logged more than a few rounds at the venue for the Wells Fargo Championship.

"I've got a litle bit of a feel for this place," Haas said. "Maybe more than some of the guys."

Evidently.

Haas, a two-time tour winner, shot an 8-under 64 to match the lowest first-round score and take a two-shot lead Thursday at Quail Hollow. 

Haas was born in Charlotte and lives about 90 miles away in Greenville, S.C.  He certainly putted like a guy who understands the nuances of the property. He had eight birdies and 10 one-putt greens, which was easily the best part of his play.

"Hopefully I didn't make all the putts today and saved some for the weekend," he said.

Haas got of to a good start this year and lost in a playof at the Bob Hope Classic, then sort of flatlined for a few weeks. He hasn't finished better than 30th in his last six starts, including two missed cuts.

"In this game, you are always this close to being good," he said.
Category: Golf
 
 
 
 
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