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Golf: Haas wins playoff to deny Mickelson, Bradley

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Bill Haas rolled in a 45-foot birdie putt at the second playoff hole on Sunday to win the Northern Trust Open and deny Phil Mickelson a second US PGA Tour title in as many weeks.
Mickelson, who was coming off a storming victory at Pebble Beach last Sunday, had led or shared the lead here after each of the first three rounds.
He and Keegan Bradley, who shared the overnight lead, made Haas work overtime by sinking birdie putts at the final hole of regulation to force the three-man playoff, but it was Haas who came through on the second playoff hole -- Riviera Country Club’s often dramatic 315-yard, par-four 10th.
Mickelson put his tee shot in the right rough short of the green. Bradley was in the right greenside bunker while Haas was in the back left rough.
Haas pitched safely to the middle of the green. Mickelson’s shot out of the rough rolled through the green and into the back bunker while Bradley fired out of the sand to the back fringe.
Haas sank his long birdie putt, then waited tensely as Mickelson and Bradley tried in vain to extend the playoff.
Haas claimed his fourth US PGA Tour title, and his first since he won last year’s Tour Championship -- where he also captured the FedEx Cup playoff title and its $10 million bonus.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia was the unlikely leader of a group of four players sharing fourth place on five-under par 279.
Garcia, who started the day nine adrift, carded a seven-under 64 -- the best round of the tournament -- that included two eagles and five birdies.
World number one Luke Donald endured a difficult day, shooting a seven-over 78 that included eight bogeys, six of them in a row from the ninth.
He blamed his inability to get to grips with Riviera’s greens, and said he wasn’t hitting it too badly heading into his defence of the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship in Arizona starting Wednesday.

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