ATLANTA (Reuters) - Ice-cool Bill Haas held his nerve to beat fellow American Hunter Mahan in a thrilling playoff for the season-ending Tour Championship on Sunday and claim FedExCup honours with its $10 million bonus.
Haas coolly knocked in a four-foot par putt at the third extra hole, the par-three last, to seal victory with Mahan having bogeyed after hitting his tee shot into a greenside bunker and splashing out 15 feet beyond the cup.
“This just worked out for me,” a smiling Haas said greenside at East Lake Golf Club after pumping his right fist in celebration, removing his cap and embracing Mahan.
“I‘m very fortunate. This is very rewarding.”
The pair had finished the 72 regulation holes on eight-under-par 272, Haas squandering a three-shot lead with three holes remaining to close with a two-under 68 and joint overnight leader Mahan carding a 71.
British world number one Luke Donald birdied three of the last five holes for a 69 to finish in a tie for third with South Korean K.J. Choi (70) and Australian Aaron Baddeley (72).
The sudden-death playoff, with $11.4 million on line for the winner, began at the tricky 18th where both players ended up settling for pars.
Haas missed the green to the right off the tee and then chipped up to 11 feet before coolly sinking his par putt.
Mahan, who found the right greenside bunker with his tee shot, splashed out to six feet before knocking in his putt for a matching par.
At the second extra hole, the par-four 17th, Haas ended up in the right fairway bunker off the tee and appeared to be literally sunk when he pulled his second shot left of the green into the edge of a water hazard.
Mahan, in perfect position off the tee, struck his approach to 25 feet.
Remarkably, Haas conjured a stunning third shot with his right foot in water, somehow getting his ball to check on the green and end up just three feet from the cup.
Mahan narrowly missed his birdie attempt and Haas tapped in his par putt to keep the playoff alive.
The duo then returned to the par-three 18th where Haas struck his tee shot to 50 feet before Mahan again ended up in the right greenside bunker.
Mahan’s bunker shot flew long, leaving him with a 15-footer to save par which he missed to the right.
Haas pushed his long-range approach putt four feet past the cup and, with the biggest check of his career lying in wait, coolly rammed it home to claim his third PGA Tour victory.
Editing by Julian Linden