Wed, Jan 27, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Haas achieves tour breakthrough

REUTERS , LOS ANGELES

American Bill Haas made the most of a swing tip from coach Billy Harmon to win his maiden PGA Tour title at the Bob Hope Classic on Monday, just 10 days after missing the cut in his first start of the year.

Haas burst clear of a tightly bunched leaderboard with a birdie four on the final hole of the weather-delayed event at La Quinta, California to emulate his father Jay Haas as tournament champion.

The 27-year-old had launched his 2010 campaign in stumbling fashion, failing to qualify for the weekend at the preceding Sony Open in Hawaii after rounds of 73 and 75.

However, Haas then learned something useful from celebrated coach Harmon on the practice range while preparing for the Bob Hope Classic.

“I was on the range on Monday with my dad, Billy Harmon, my uncle Bob and my brother,” Haas told reporters after sealing victory with a flawless eight-under-par 64.

“They were listening to me and tired of hearing me complain about how bad I was hitting it. Billy gave me one little tip, he said: ‘Turn your right foot out.’ And immediately it was a little different. That’s what I went with this week.”

With conditions ideal for low scoring on a glorious sun-drenched day at La Quinta, Haas birdied three of the last five holes at the Palmer Private course at PGA West to claim the title.

His two-putt birdie from 30 feet on the 18th green left him a stroke in front of South African Tim Clark and fellow Americans Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar.

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