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That time Bill Haas won the FedEx Cup -- and a $10 million bonus -- without even realizing it

September 24, 2015

Two questions will always be associated with Bill Haas' incredible up-and-down at East Lake Golf Club from East Lake during the 2011 Tour Championship: 1. How did he do that?! 2. How did he do that with $11.4 MILLION on the line?!

The basic answer to No. 1 is, "Play it like an explosion bunker shot." But the answer to No. 2 is a lot trickier. You see, Haas didn't know there was that much on the line.

"Well, we went up and did some TV interviews up in the grandstands there on 18 and both trophies were there and there was no other player, (laughter), so I kind of assumed and I looked at my wife and she was there, and she nodded her head. So that was when I realized," Haas said. "I saw Tim Finchem, I said, I didn't know I had won this, and he was like, 'congratulations, you won both.' That's what he said, 'both are for you.'"

Yep, the player who hit the FedEx Cup's defining shot didn't even realize what he'd done. In a way, that makes it a perfect defining moment of golf's oft-criticized postseason.

Haas started that week 25th out of 30 in the FedEx Cup standings. He needed about 13 things to break right for him -- not including his golf ball staying just out of the water enough on No. 17 for him to get a club on it -- to win the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus that goes with it. Since then, the rules have been changed to make such an occurrence even more rare. Here's what has to happen for Brooks Koepka, No. 25 this year heading into the season finale, to claim both prizes:


Haas enters this week No. 26. That means if he's able to pull off another miracle in Atlanta, there's even less of a chance he'll know about it.