Bill Haas out lasted Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley to win the Northern Trust Open, at the Riviera Cllub in the wonderfully named area of Pacific Palisades, California. The win came via a play-off between the three after they all finished on -7 under par. Disappointingly for Phil and Keegan, that was the score they started the day on, both shooting an even par round of 71, and Bill just crept on past them. He said;
“A part of me was saying, ‘I’ve done this once, let’s do it again. Another part of me was saying, don’t screw this up. I never expected to make a 40-footer, especially in that situation. A little luck was involved. I guess it was meant to be.”
Best round of the day came from the newly recharged Sergio Garcia who fired in a -7 under par 64 to tie for fourth place, a poor second round 76 kept him out of contention.
No Luke Donald in the top ten, a last round 78 is a worrying factor for the Worlds number one, compatriot Justin Rose fared a little better finishing tied for 13th place on -2 under par for the tournament.
But the day belonged to Bill Haas, and that 40 foot putt, congratulations Bill.
Phil Mickleson is still at the top of the leader board in Riviera at the Northern Trust Open at t he end of play on the third day. He is joined at the top by Keegan Bradley who fired a 66, compared to Phil’s round of 70. Phil said of his wobbly round:
“Usually when I win I’ll have two good rounds and I’ll have two rounds that aren’t so great that I’ve got to keep somewhere in it to give myself a chance. Yesterday and today I didn’t play the best. I wasn’t far off. I hit some good shots at times that didn’t quite turn out, but I was playing very defensive all day just trying to make pars. I’ll go hit some balls and get it turned around for tomorrow because today was a big day. If I didn’t fight hard and make pars from some of the places I was at, then I’d be trying to play catch-up to a lot of guys.”
Keegan was really happy with his position and is looking forward to the final group pairing battle with Phil, a man he admires greatly.
“I can promise you I do want to beat Phil, and he wants to beat me. I just look forward to the challenge of going out there and being in the hunt with him. Like I said, you never know what Phil is going to shoot. He could shoot a really low one or not, so you’ve got to try not to focus on him as much. But the thing that I do have is I have played with him a bunch, I’ve hung out with him, and I feel more comfortable this year than I would last year playing in the final group. I’ve got that going for me. I love Phil. Everything he’s done for me is great, and if I didn’t win tomorrow, I would hope he would.”
Jonathan Byrd, Pat Perez and Bryce Molder are only one shot behind the leaders and plenty of good golfers still in contention, which makes for an exciting finish to this tournament tomorrow.