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PLAYOFFS PREVIEW


Opposite: Bill Haas poses with the tournament trophy and FedExCup after winning the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.


Below: A view from the 4th hole at Bethpage Black Golf Course.


« IT’S SO HARD TO BELIEVE THAT IT HAPPENED. JUST THE WAY IT ALL WENT DOWN, WHEN I LOOK BACK ON IT, I WAS VERY FORTUNATE. » – Bill Haas


Caption L-R (clockwise from top):


As the players gear up for the 2012 Playoffs, it is anyone’s game. We profile the prestigious courses which will host all of the action. By Ward Clayton


L www.pgatour.com


Last June, if you had asked Bill Haas to peer into the future, just a scant three months away, his thoughts on the ultimate 2011 success story would have been very distant. Even though Haas had recorded a handful of top-10s early in the year, including a runner-up finish, he was 19th in the FedExCup standings just over halfway through his season. From there, he surged in the second half with just one missed


cut, a playoff loss at The Greenbrier Classic, and then shut the door with a PGA TOUR Playoffs victory in the finale at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola to secure the FedExCup. Haas came from 15th place at the beginning of the Playoffs. “It’s so hard to believe that it happened, to just think that that


kind of thing happens to somebody else,” Haas said. “Just the way it all went down, when I look back on it, I was very fortunate.”


The lesson to be learned here is that the FedExCup Champion


for 2012 is lurking in the standings at this point in the year, but it might not be right at the top. Yes, it’s vitally important to be in prime position halfway through the season, but only Tiger Woods led the standings halfway through the year, at the end of the Regular Season and then took home the season-long title in 2007. Jim Furyk in 2010 is the only other player who was in the top five in the standings when June arrived and went on to win the title. The rest of the FedExCup champions—including Vijay Singh in 2008, Woods in 2009 and Haas in 2011—had a best standing of eighth at this point in the year. With the 2012 PGA TOUR Playoffs


right around the


corner, prepare for them with our tournament-by-tournament breakdown.


PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2012 31


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