Haas wins Viking Classic

Published 12:05 pm Monday, October 4, 2010

MADISON — Bill Haas took another step toward possibly being the next big thing in golf with a three-stroke win Sunday at the Viking Classic at Annandale Golf Club.

The victory was the second for Haas this year and it makes him one of seven players to win at least twice this season on the PGA Tour, joining FedEx Cup champ Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan, Ernie Els, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and Steve Stricker.

“When you win the first, you then start thinking about winning the second, I guess. I can start thinking of winning a third one,” Haas said after taking his second tour victory after shooting a 15-under 273 at Annandale.

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Not only does the win add another year to the 28-year-old Haas’ extemption status, it also gets him into several limited field invitational events next season.

“It moves me up the (money) list, and I get in The Masters and the U.S. Open. I would love to get into the World Golf Championship events, but the biggest thing is I have that job security, knowing that I’m now exempt for the next three years,” Haas said. Haas is now 26th on the PGA Tour’s money list.

While D.J. Trahan made an early push to get back into contention, he could not pull any closer than four shots against a tough wind on Annandale’s finishing holes. He ended at 11-under and in a tie for third with second round co-leader Brendon deJonge.

The lone competition for Haas was 51-year-old Michael Allen, who splits his time on the Champions and PGA Tours. The final pair were tied at 14-under after Haas bogeyed No. 11 and 12 and Allen birdied 11.

Things went back in favor for Haas at 13 when Allen’s tee shot went out of bounds.

“I tried to take it on the very edge of the tree line,” Allen said. “I thought it was a good drive, but then I got a terrible bounce and it went out of bounds.”

Haas said the errant tee shot was the first of two breaks on the tournament’s pivotal hole.

“When they found his ball, I knew he had a bad break,” Haas said. “I thought it was good drive, it must’ve hit a branch and then hit the path and made a big sideways bounce. Then on the retry, he hits inside of my ball and on my line. He misses the putt but I get to see the line and make it. I gained three shots. You need to have breaks like that to win out here.”

Haas gave back one of his three shots at 14. He bounced back on 16, making an 8-footer for birdie to go to back to 15-under.

That left the treacherous, par-4 17. David Toms and Joe Durant saw both of their second shots go into the pond protecting the 17th green and end their bids at a top eight finish.

Haas and Allen were both in good position on their second shot and both reached the green with Allen having just six feet for birdie while Haas was away by 15 feet. Haas, however, drained the putt to put the tournament in the bag. Allen made his shot for second place.

“Obviously, to birdie 16 and 17 was huge. It kept the lead at three strokes. The second shot into 16 was real good. I felt I made two great shots on 17. I was real happy going to the 18th. I knew at the Bob Hope that I would be nervous. Even with a lead, you still don’t want to mess up.”