Monday Morning Golf Report
May 18, 2009
Bill Haas found himself tied at the top of the leaderboard late in the back nine on Sunday at the Valero Texas Open and wound-up posting his best finish of the season with a tie for third. Haas finished the tournament at 14-under par and was just one-shot out of a playoff.
On Thursday, Haas opened the tournament with six birdies in his first nine holes to go out in a blazing 29. However, he would play his second nine in 38 strokes to card a 3-under 67.
Haas then followed with two more 67s on Friday and Saturday and was tied for eighth at 9-under par heading into the final round.
On Sunday, the 2004 graduate made two bogies and three birdies on the front nine to go out in 1-under 34 and was three-shots off the pace. But that was when he got rolling. Birdies on holes 11 and 12 followed by another up-and-down birdie on the par-5 14th brought Haas to 13-under and to within two of the lead.
He now faced the long up-hill par-4 15th which was giving players all sorts of problems on Sunday. Haas made it look easy with a good drive, a second-shot to 20 feet and a nice putt for his second-straight birdie.
He then took advantage of the downhill par-4 16th, driving the green and two-putting for his fifth birdie in six holes and was then in a four-way tie for the lead at 15-under.
At 17, Haas pulled his eight-iron to the left edge of the green and faced a tough up-and-down as the pin was tucked behind a bunker on the right edge of the green. He would not be able to get down in two and dropped out of the lead with a bogey-four.
Now needing a birdie at No.18, Haas tugged his tee-shot into a tree and essentially ended his chances. He pitched out sideways and faced a third shot from 175 yards uphill out of the rough. He hit it to the left fringe about 20 feet away and then made the clutch par-save, giving him a final round 65.
This was Haas' seventh cut made this season and he now has two top-10s on the year.
Billy Andrade also played this week in Texas and after an opening round 72, he made six birdies in his round of 67 on Friday to make his first cut since the Mayakoba Golf Classic in early March.
Andrade closed with rounds of 71-76 over the weekend and finished 75th at 6-over par. On the Champions Tour, Jay Haas led a group of six former Deacons at the rain-shortened Regions Charity Classic at the Robert Trent Jones Trail in Hoover, Ala.
The first round was completed on Friday but Saturday's second round was interrupted by rain. Most of the players had to finish-up their second rounds on Sunday and the officials decided to not even start the final round because of the delay and called the tournament after 36-holes.
Haas posted rounds of 71-69 to finish at 4-under par and tied for 25th while Scott Hoch finished a shot back at 3-under after rounds of 69-72.
Jay Sigel finished tied for 44th at 2-under par and Lanny Wadkins, playing in just his third tournament of the year, finished T51st at 1-under.
Leonard Thompson and Gary Hallberg rounded out the Deacon contingent as each tied for 60th at 2-over par.
At the Nationwide Tour's BMW Charity Championship, Kyle Reifers and Len Mattiace both recorded solid finishes at 12-under par, tying for 35th.
Reifers fired 68-67 in the first two rounds and was 9-under through 36 holes. He started Saturday just three-shots off the lead and climbed into the top-10 midway through the third round but wound-up carding a 69 on Saturday and a 70 on Sunday to drop back a bit.
Mattiace opened with a round of 70 but then carded three-straight 68s to finish with a 72-hole total of 274.
Ron Whittaker was the third former Deacon playing this week but he missed the three-day cut after rounds of 73-69-72.
Laura Diaz had a tough week at the LPGA's Sybase Classic, missing the cut after rounds of 78-75.
The LPGA Tour will be in Ney York next week for the Corning Classic while the Nationwide Tour will go south of the border for the Mexico Open next week.
The PGA Tour remains in Texas for the HP Byron Nelson Championship where men's golf recruit Even Beck will receive the Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Award.
The Champions Tour will host the Senior PGA Championship next week at the Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio.
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