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 Mickelson leads at the Riviera in the first round of at the Northern Trust Open, but unfortunately some 30 players were still out on the course when play was suspended in fading light and they will complete the first round on Friday morning. Phil hot from his win last week at Pebble Beach, and aslo champion here in 2008 and 2009, recorded six birdies and a lone bogey to continue his new found good form. At the post round interview Phil was very pleased with the score, and especially to end his round with a 35-foot chip-in from just off the back of the green at the par-four 18th;
“It wasn’t one I was really trying to make,i t was quick, it was downhill and I had to play about four or five feet of break. I was trying to get good speed and try to let it feed with the break. I got fortunate obviously that it went in. I left one or two shots out on 16 and 17, and you hate to have such a good round and let a few slide late. To make that shot unexpectedly on 18 felt like I got one of those back.”
After the conclusion of the first round, World number one Luke Donald was tied ninth, with fellow Englishman Justin Rose at one-under on the par-71 course. Luke said of his round, and the tough conditions;
“This morning it was freezing, and it was not easy but I’m excited about my ball-striking, the way I’m controlling the flight. This course is tough so I’m pretty pleased with what I did.”