AMERICA’S Bill Haas today pocketed more money than some European countries seem to have in the back these days – and all for getting a foot wet.
Haas beat compatriot Hunter Mahan on the third hole of a sudden death playoff to take both the 2011 Tour Championship and the bonus $US10 million FedEx Cup.
On the second playoff hole Haas got up and down from the water beside the 17th green with what he described as an “all or nothing shot”.
Playing with one foot in the water (see video below) he later explained: “If I don’t pull it off, I’m shaking Hunter’s hand.”
All in all the 29 year old collected $A11.7 million for today’s effort.
That money could have easily been in Jason Day’s pocket, or at least some if it in Aaron Baddeley’s.
Both had real chances late at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Baddeley started the day tied with Mahan for the lead and ended it one stroke out of the play-off in a tie for third, while Day was a further shot back in a share of sixth.
Adam Scott (68) finished strongly with two birdies on the back nine to join Day while Geoff Ogilvy consolidated his return to form with a share of 11th.
With the tournament in the balance, Baddeley missed a couple of crucial short putts but has probably done enough to earn a congratulatory phone call from Presidents Cup Captain Greg Norman.
We’re tipping that both Baddeley and Robert Allenby will join the International team this week, while Haas’s win will give Fred Couples further cause for reflection about his US team captain’s pick.
Baddeley, normally one of the best in the business with the putter, missed twice from just a few feet on the back nine.
“Two short misses on the back nine cost me,” Baddeley said. “That was the golf tournament. Make those two short ones, I win.”
On the 17th hole, Day knew he still had a chance to win the tournament and the huge FedEx jackpot.
“I was looking at the leaderboard, seeing what I needed to do, I was calculating,” Day said.
But it wasn’t to be. Day, now ranked 7th in the world, will now take a rest from competitive golf before returning to Australia to play for the first time as a professional.
“I’m looking forward to getting down to Australia,” the 23 year old said.
“I really want to win the Australian Open, it will be huge, and then I have my first Presidents Cup. I hope the Australian people are as excited as I am.”2011 Tour Championship Final Result