Bill Haas of the USA won the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. He came through a playoff against his countrymen Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.
Haas played an excellent final round of 69 over the difficult course at Riviera to post a clubhouse total of seven-under-par. It looked likely he would win the tournament outright as both Mickelson and Bradley came to the finishing hole a stroke behind. Both needed a birdie to match Haas’ total, but the 18th had only witnessed six birdies all day.
Mickelson left himself a testing 25 foot putt but, displaying the nerve that has won him 40 PGA Tour titles, he rolled in his birdie effort and secured his place in a playoff. He then knocked his fist against Bradley’s and said to the 2011 PGA Champion, “join me.”
Bradley did just that, he calmly stroked his 12-foot birdie effort home to make it a three-way playoff. Haas was on the practice range and knew exactly what had happened from the huge roars coming over from the 18th green.
The first playoff hole saw all three men make par on the 18th, the second extra hole was the short par-4 10th.
At just 310 yards it’s driveable, but none of the three managed it. Haas went through the green and he played out of thick rough safely onto the green, leaving a long birdie putt.
Both Mickelson and Bradley short-sided themselves, the former in the rough, the latter in the greenside bunker. Mickelson tried his trademark flop-shot and it nearly worked but, unfortunately for the 41-year-old, it rolled back into the sand. Bradley played out of the bunker leaving some 15 feet for birdie.
Haas went first and, incredibly, rolled-in his 40-foot birdie putt. When Mickelson failed to hole out from the bunker and Bradley missed his putt, the title went to Haas.
“To beat guys of that calibre is amazing, something I will never forget,” Haas said.
Round of the day was by Spain’s Sergio Garcia. He fired a superb 64 to move into a tie for fourth place.
World Number 1 Luke Donald had a bad day, signing for a 78 he finished down in a tie for 56th.
Northern Trust Open
Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California
Feb 16-19, purse $6,600,000 par 71
1 Bill Haas (USA) 72 68 68 69 277 $1,188,000
T2 Keegan Bradley (USA) 71 69 66 71 277 $580,800
T2 Phil Mickelson (USA) 66 70 70 71 277 $580,800
T4 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 69 76 70 64 279 $259,875
T4 Dustin Johnson (USA) 71 70 67 71 279 $259,875
T4 Jarrod Lyle (Aus) 73 65 71 70 279 $259,875
T4 Jimmy Walker (USA) 72 66 72 69 279 $259,875
T8 Jonathan Byrd (USA) 68 70 69 73 280 $191,400
T8 J.B. Holmes (USA) 67 73 70 70 280 $191,400
T8 Bo Van Pelt (USA) 74 68 68 70 280 $191,400
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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