Why Bill Haas is Mr. Clutch

Bill Haas
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Bill Haas won the Humana Challenge Sunday (left) thanks to a clutch shot down the stretch -- something he's done before (right, at the 2011 Tour Championship).
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, January 26, 2015 | 8:37 a.m.

Did you see the shot Bill Haas hit on the final hole at PGA West yesterday? It helped him save par and secure a one-shot victory, the sixth of his career on the PGA Tour and his second in the Humana Challenge.

In case you missed it, here's the shot:

That shot would be remarkable under any circumstances, but especially with the tournament on the line.

RELATED: Haas wins Humana Challenge | Final leaderboard | Winners' bags

It reminded me of another more extraordinary shot Haas pulled off in the 2011 Tour Championship at East Lake on his way to winning that tournament and, ultimately, the FedExCup.

Playing the 17th hole -- the second hole of a playoff with Hunter Mahan -- Haas's second shot sailed left of the green and settled just on the bank of the lake. It looked like his hopes of winning were nothing more than ripples in the water.

The ball was half-submerged -- just enough to give most golfers false hope that they might be able to pull off a miracle shot.

But, that's precisely what Haas did. Playing it like a bunker shot, Haas popped the ball out of the water -- with spin -- and got it to settle 2 feet from the hole to set up a par when most of the world's best players probably would have been delighted just to get the ball on the green.

Haas won the tournament on the next hole.

Sunday's shot at the Humana Challenge may not have been as impressive as that one at East Lake in 2011, but the level of difficulty (particularly when you consider the circumstances) had to be just as high.

I mean, come on, when he told his caddie: "I could whiff it, you know?" did you really think he'd execute the shot as well as he did?

That was impressive stuff.
 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.