Haas escape was the shot of the century29-Sep-2011
BILL HAAS will have woken up yesterday morning not only significantly wealthier, but also in the knowledge that when people debate the greatest shot of all time, his recovery on the second play-off hole at the Tour Championship will always be mentioned.
SHOT OF THE CENTURY
The staggering $11.5m prize on offer to the victor only added to the level of difficulty, and for Haas to have put it virtually stone dead from a position where his ball was partially submerged in water, not to mention the fact he was playing blind over a steep bank, represented the shot of the century.
As a pro you wouldn’t necessarily practise a shot from that lie, but as soon as Haas saw what he was faced with he would’ve recognised the need to address it as a regulation bunker shot.
From then on it was about trusting and committing fully to the shot – the outcome was extraordinary and clearly represented a knockout blow to his opponent Hunter Mahan.
Haas comes from a terrific golfing family, I competed against and know his father Jay extremely well, and Sunday’s win has propelled him into the big-time which is where a golfer of his ability should be.
Aside from that drama, it was another excellent performance from Luke Donald, who finished third, and ends the year as world No1. People might dwell on the fact a Major still eludes him but he’ll have no regrets looking back on his performances in 2011.
JOY FOR EUROPE
Talking of dramatic finishes, hearty congratulations go to the European women who wrestled back the Solheim Cup from America’s grasp in Ireland also on Sunday.
In team match play events it’s very difficult, especially on the final day when there’s so match activity on the course, to blank everything out and concentrate solely on your own game, that really is the key to success.
With America, who had won the previous three renewals, leading, it would’ve been easy for the final three Europeans to panic, but they showed admirable composure and no little skill to turn things around to seal a memorable win.
A SMART APPOINTMENT
After such an exciting weekend, news of Joe LaCava’s appointment as Tiger Woods’ new caddy somewhat slipped under the radar.
Clearly Tiger has some issues with his game at the moment that won’t be fixed by his bag man, but if he’s ever to rediscover his former glories this was a decision he needed to get spot on and I firmly believe he has.
LaCava is a terrific guy who boasts a wealth of experience having spent the majority of his career working with Freddie Couples. Latterly he has overseen Dustin Johnson’s rise to prominence and I’m delighted he’s landed such a high-profile job.
Read more of Sam's golf comments at City A.M.