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Bill Haas joins his dad as a winner on PGA Tour

LA QUINTA, Calif. — Bill Haas followed his father's advice to be patient through six long days at the Bob Hope Classic until his final hole, when an impatient shot clinched his first PGA Tour victory Monday.

Haas made a short birdie putt after an aggressive approach shot on the 18th hole to win the Hope Classic, beating Matt Kuchar, Tim Clark and Bubba Watson by one stroke with 8-under 64.

"I'd been wanting to win from the first tournament I played, but it's a process, and there's a lot to it," said Haas, 27, a rookie in 2006. "I'm grateful."

The son of 1988 Hope Classic champion Jay Haas was the last of three co-leaders to play the par-5 18th. Kuchar and South Africa's Clark had missed birdie putts at the Arnold Palmer Private course.

Haas dropped his 3-iron behind the pin and two-putted for a 30-under 330 finish.

Fourth-round co-leader Watson birdied the 18th to share second.

After grinding through five rounds on four courses in the rain-delayed tournament, Haas made it through the last hole with his hands shaking and fingers going numb — and at that point, he didn't even know his father had made it back from the Champions Tour event in Hawaii to watch.

"It was the most nervous I've ever been," Haas said.

Haas credited his play to a tip he received while practicing with his father last weekend.

"It's definitely neat that down the road, 22 years from now, we can look at both our names on the list here," Bill Haas said. "I'm not trying to compare myself to him. He's almost unreachable."

They're the eighth father-son combination to win on the PGA Tour.

Kuchar had eight birdies in his first 11 holes, one in the last seven, for the best final round (63). He wished for a better second shot on 18. His hybrid approach landed on the fringe.

Rookie Alex Prugh, who shared the lead with Watson entering the final round, started slowly but closed with three straight birdies to finish fifth at 28 under in his third career PGA Tour event.

Bill Haas joins his dad as a winner on PGA Tour 01/25/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 25, 2010 8:51pm]
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