Five Players Who Rocked The PGA Tour Playoffs

Bill Haas
Bill Haas
After two-time FedEx Cup champion Tiger Woods failed to qualify for the PGA Tour playoffs, some of the players who performed the best during the post-season were not the ones you might have picked to excel before the four-event series got underway.
1. Bill Haas – Of course, this is a no-brainer, but it wasn’t all that easy, as Haas had to bounce back more than once to finally claim the FedEx Cup with his playoff victory over Hunter Mahan in the Tour Championship. The 29-year-old Haas seemed to have a high finish in the BMW Championship and a spot on the U.S. team for the Presidents Cup locked up before he imploded with a 78 in the final round to tie for 16th. He then spoiled what turned out to be a round of 69 with a double bogey-bogey finish on Saturday at East Lake, and blew a three-stroke lead down the stretch on Sunday with two late bogeys to fall into the playoff. But Haas’ flop shot from the edge of the water to save par on the second playoff hole was one for the ages, and along with a couple of clutch putts, made him the $10-million man.
Luke Donald
Luke Donald

2. Luke Donald – The No. 1 player in the World Golf Rankings kept doing what he does better than anyone else right now, with his three top-10 finishes in the four events of the PGA Tour playoffs giving him 13 this season to leave him third in the final FedEx Cup standings. He might have had four if the Barclays, where he tied for 18th, had not been shortened to 54 holes by the threat of Hurricane Irene, as he played his last two rounds in 66-66. Donald tied for third in the Deutsche Bank Championship, finished fourth in the BMW championship and tied for third in the Tour Championship. Had he claimed a victory in one of those tournaments, he would have taken the FedEx Cup. Luke captured the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship this year, but hasn’t won a stroke-play event on the PGA Tour since the 2006 Honda Classic, although he has won two this year on the European Tour.
Webb Simpson
Webb Simpson

3. Webb Simpson – Simpson played about as well as anyone in the PGA Tour playoffs until he shot 3-over-par 73 in the final round of the Tour Championship and slid to 22nd in the final at East Lake. He still would have captured the FedEx Cup had Aaron Baddeley won the tournament, but the Aussie could not hold on, shooting 72 in the final round. Simpson got himself going the week before the playoffs, claiming his first PGA Tour victory at the Wyndham Championship, and then captured the Deutsche Bank Championship two weeks later by beating Chez Reavie in a playoff. The 26-year-old from Wake Forest also tied for 10th in the Barclays and was fifth in the BMW Championship en route to finishing second in the final FedEx Cup standings.
Brandt Snedeker
Brandt Snedeker

4. Brandt Snedeker – Jumping into the FedEx Cup chase at the start of the PGA Tour playoffs by tying for third in both the Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship, Snedeker was in the running for the top prize almost all the way to the finish in the Tour Championship. He was in the hunt again at the BMW Championship when he posted a 5-under-par 66 in the second round, but shot 73-74 on the weekend and slid to a tie for 22nd. Sneds was among the leaders in the finale at East Lake when he opened with 68-69, but a 4-over-par 74 in round three proved to be costly. He bounced back with a closing 69, although a double bogey on the 17th hole left him in a tie for 16th and eighth in the final FedEx Cup standings.
Hunter Mahan
Hunter Mahan

5. Hunter Mahan – One more putt here or there and Mahan would have been holding the FedEx Cup on Sunday night, rather than Bill Haas. Of course, Hunter had it all in his own hands after posting three rounds in the 60s to tie for the 54-hole lead with Aaron Baddeley in the Tour Championship, but he could manage only a single birdie while closing with a 71. However, he did make a couple clutch par saves down the stretch to get into the playoff, and seemed to be on the verge of victory until Haas’ miracle par save on the second extra hole. Mahan, who also tied for eighth in the Deutsche Bank Championship in round two of the PGA Tour playoffs, would have won the $10-million prize with a victory in Atlanta, but slid to seventh in the final standings by tying for second place.

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