Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Golf | US PGA Tour

Haas sticks to successful Riviera recipe



It took Bill Haas a long time to work out how to play Riviera Country Club effectively at the Northern Trust Open, but for the past two years he has certainly come up with the right formula.

Twelve months ago, he edged out fellow Americans Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley to win the prestigious title at the second extra hole and this week he will take a commanding three-shot lead into Sunday's final round.

Haas has always loved the challenge of Riviera, one of the classic layouts on the PGA Tour, but had finished no better than joint 22nd in his first five starts at the event, including missed cuts in 2009 and 2010.

"Even before last year when I did not have the best of records here, it was certainly a week that I penciled in on the schedule if I could get in and play here," Haas told reporters after firing a seven-under-par 64 in Saturday's third round.

"It's fun to play. I like everything about Riviera ... the golf course, the grass, just how it's an old-school style golf course.

"Walking in the locker room, seeing the pictures of all those champions on the wall, it's just got a great feel of it about it."

Conditions were extremely tough on Saturday with the course running fast and firm under a dazzling sun but Haas stayed patient and made the most of his opportunities when they came to post a 12-under total of 201.

"Temperature-wise, it was fabulous but with that some of the fairways are really running out, the greens are difficult to hit and it's getting firmer and firmer," the 2011 FedExCup champion said after mixing five birdies with an eagle at the 10th.

"Just because it's playing shorter doesn't mean it's necessarily playing easier. Today I was able to save a shot here and there, make a couple of nice par saves. I hit some really nice chips from around the greens."

BIG NAMES

Haas, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, has several big names in hot pursuit with US Open champion Webb Simpson and 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel three strokes adrift, and world No 3 Luke Donald a further shot back.

"It's very difficult in this game to just pull away from the rest of the field," Haas said of the task facing him in the final round. "You've only seen a few guys ever really do that ... guys like Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson.

"I've just got to try to stay in the moment, don't let my emotions get the best of me, try to get off to a good start.

"The guys behind me are going to make birdies and will certainly get closer at the top, so I've just got to try to hang in there and give myself a chance on the back nine."

The 30-year-old American is experienced enough to know that good form can never be taken for granted.

"Every day is a new day and you're always working," said Haas, whose distinguished golfing lineage includes his father Jay, a multiple winner on the PGA and Champions tours, and his great uncle Bob Goalby, best known for winning the 1968 Masters.

"My dad always said, 'When you're playing well, you're not far off from playing poorly; and when you're playing poorly, you're not far off from playing well.'

"There's just such a fine detail in your swing that can change daily, so you just always keep working on it."

Shop

The big miss
The big miss - My Years Coaching Tiger Woods
R342.00
The Extraordinary Book of South African Golf
The extraordinary book of South African golf is a must-read for any golf fanatic.
R140.00
Wilson Mens Reflex Package Set
The Wilson REFLEX Set is a great choice for the all level or occasional golfer
R3499.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Michael Todt
Pride, and then perspective
It should have been a day to celebrate for South African golf, and thus South African sport....

Reuters on Golf
The drive to be the best
Rory McIlroy is the best driver in contemporary golf when he is 'on his game' while Adam Scott is...