The Loop

Comparing Victor Dubuisson's two cactus shots to Bill Haas' save out of a lake

February 24, 2014

Victor Dubuisson and Bill Haas' recovery shots were, undoubtedly, two of the greatest pressure shots in golf history. It seems wrong to anoint one act of brilliance over the other, so we'll leave that to you, the readers. And to help you do that, we thought it would be useful to list the facts about both situations.

Victor Dubuisson__

__The Situation:

After winning the last two holes in regulation to claw his way back from dormie 2-down, Dubuisson hacked his ball from the root of a cactus to four feet on the 19th hole. Then, on the 20th hole from a spot even worse, he knocked it close again out of a cactus to extend the match further.

The Stakes:__

For the 23-year-old Victor Dubuisson, it was a chance for his first PGA Tour victory (which would have given him full eligibility for the next two years), his second worldwide victory in less than four months, and a $1.5 million first-place check. The winner would also get 72 Official World Ranking points, enough to vault him nearer to the top 20 and make him all but a lock for the 2014 Ryder Cup team.

The Shot:

__The Degree Of Difficulty:

Aside from not letting the cacti intimidate him (they are, after all, pretty scary plants, especially for Europeans) Dubuisson chose to play the shot like a bump-and-run. He kept the ball low and judged the roll to perfection, especially on his second shot, which he landed in the rough short of the green.__

The Final Result:

__Although he saved par both times, he went on to lose the match to Jason Day's birdie on the 23rd playoff hole. The ranking points he received for finishing second still moved him to 23rd in the World Rankings and into the European Ryder Cup standings. The second place check for more than $900,000 didn't hurt, either.

What They Said:__

__"[They were] the two greatest up-and-downs in a row. . .that has to go straight to No. 1." -- Nick Faldo

What He Said:__

__"Those two shots were amazing. I just played it like I had nothing to lose."

Bill Haas

The Situation:

Facing Hunter Mahan on the second playoff hole of the 2011 Tour Championship, Bill Haas hooked his approach shot into the water just left of East Lake's 17th green. Luckily for him, the ball wasn't fully submerged, so -- naturally -- he climbed into the water, knocked his shot to a few feet and made the putt for par to extend the playoff.

The Stakes:

Aside from offering Haas the chance to collect his third PGA Tour victory in two years, a win at the 2011 Tour Championship would hand him that year's FedEx Cup, and the $10 million bonus that came with it (plus the more than $1 million due to the winner of the Tour Championship). With the season drawing to a close, it would also go a long way in securing Haas a spot on the 2011 U.S. Presidents Cup team.

The Shot:

The Degree Of Difficulty:__

If you're ever hitting a shot from the water, remember that the general rule of thumb is to swing about 50 percent than you usually would. Not only did Haas accomplish that part beautifully, but he caught the ball so clean that it actually came out of the water with spin on it.

The Final Result:

__That par save kept the playoff alive, which Haas went on to win one hole later. He collected more than $11 million dollars as a result, and was picked by President's Cup captain Fred Couples less than a month later.

What They Said:__

__"I thought I had won on the second playoff hole, and then he hits it out of the water to 2 feet, so it seemed like he was destined to win this week." -- Hunter Mahan

What He Said:__

__"It was an all or nothing shot, so if I don't pull it off, I'm shaking Hunter's hand."