Monday, February 20, 2012

Bill Haas - A Portrait In Course Management

"Bill Haas - A Portrait In Course Management"
By Sean & Stef Mysel
2/20/12

OK so here's the situation:  you're in a playoff for a million dollar purse and you and your competitors all hit tee shots that end up in sticky situations.  Your ball is in the deep rough hitting into a landing area the size of your golf towel.  What do you do?

This was the situation Bill Haas found himself in this past weekend at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera.  Haas knew that the odds of any of the three players making birdie wasn't exceptional, but still possible.  It could have been easy for Haas to muster all the gumption he had and flop a ball onto the green and stick it next to the pin, but alas, he pitched the ball away from the flag and left himself about 40 feet away.  Mickelson decided to play his famous flop over the bunker and because he was in deep rough, the ball knuckled out of the rough and roll right into another bunker.  Keegan Bradley played a brilliant shot that nestled onto the fringe.

Each player had a decision to make, go for broke or play the percentages and the golfer who played the percentages won.  Now let's back up one moment though, Haas couldn't not of dreamed of draining a 40 foot putt in that situation, but that doesn't matter.  The point was he had one likely scenario which was to get down in two and play another hole, it just happened to work out that he made the putt, Mickleson and Bradley parred.

Next time you play, think about an old line you have heard in several movies, but it's something about being a hero.  Sometimes being the anti-hero has big dividends in the end, just ask Bill Haas.  But if you ever need a reminder, just ask these two how being a hero worked out: