Sunday at the Safeway Open, Bill Haas shot a one-over 73 to grab his first top-10 finish since April, a result that brought a little bit of hope in what’s otherwise been a year to forget.
In February, on the eve of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles, the six-time PGA Tour winner miraculously walked away with just bumps and bruises as the passenger in single-car accident that took the life of the driver, Haas’ friend Mark Gibello.
Haas withdrew from the event, and needed another few weeks before he returned to competition. Once he did, he struggled to find the form that helped him win the 2011 FedEx Cup title. In his next seven starts, Haas made the full 72-hole cut just twice. By the end of the season, he’d have made just five more.
Haas ultimately finished the season 151st on the FedEx Cup points list, but applied for a medical extension to try and secure his card for the 2018-’19 season. He was granted two starts in an attempt to earn 136 points, the equivalent of No. 125 on the FedEx Cup points list in 2018.
With his T-10 showing at Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif., Haas claimed 68 points (he could have earned them all with a T-3 showing, something that looked possible after a Saturday 67. More importantly, his performance earned him an extra start to grab the remaining points; the top-10 automatically qualifying him for the next open PGA Tour event, the Sanderson Farms Championship in three weeks.