Another exciting finish on the PGA Tour, this week at the Northern Trust Open at Riveria Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.
Phil Mickelson had the early lead, but his putting slipped on Sunday, letting the rest of the field back into the tournament. Bill Haas posted a 69 for the lead in the clubhouse, forcing Mickelson and his playing partner Keegan Bradley to birdie the difficult 18th hole for a tie...a hole that had only yielded only 6 birdies all day.
In dramatic fashion and in front of a huge gallery, Mickelson drained his 25' putt AND then Bradley made his 12' putt, for a pair of birdies and a 3-way playoff with Haas.
The first playoff hole (#18) was all pars, and on the short par 4 second hole (#10), all three players had difficult approach shots, but Haas stunned everyone, playing a safe chip shot and then making a 45' putt for the win.
All three players are at the top of their games. Haas with his first win in 2012 after winning the 2011 FedEx Cup with that famous chip out of the water at the Tour Championship. Bradley is one of the rising stars on the PGA Tour with his 2011 PGA Championship. And Mickelson is coming off his 40th career victory last week at Pebble Beach over Tiger Woods.
Dustin Johnson fell victim to his short game again, missing some chips and putts to finish fourth. Also tied in fourth place was Sergio Garcia, in his first PGA appearance of the year, with 2 eagles and 5 birdies for 64, the low-round of the day.
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Editor's Note: Did you catch rookie Keegan Bradley fist-pumping veteran Phil Mickelson after his 18th hole putt? Then Mickelson told Bradley "Join me!" Where else do you see that in professional sports. That's why we love golf!