Haas wins again in La Quinta

Bill Haas won the Humana Challenge for the second time, posting a 5-under-par 67 to beat Matt Kuchar, Charley Hoffman, Brendan Steele, Steve Wheatcroft and Sung Joon Park of South Korea by one stroke on the Arnold Palmer Private Course at PGA West in La Quinta.

Haas, who claimed the first of his six PGA Tour victories in what was then the Bob Hope Classic at La Quinta in 2010, holed a 15-foot eagle putt on the sixth hole in the final round and added four birdies in the final round.

Then he salvaged a par-5 on the final hole after his errant drive to the right wound up in an awkward spot about waist high above a fairway bunker, knocking his second shot down the fairway with an 8-iron before finishing off the victory.

“That was a bad break, but it was a bad drive too,” said Haas, who captured the 2011 Tour Championship to wrap up the FedEx Cup title. “I could have whiffed on that (second) shot … but I got it back into play.

“I was really struggling (with my ball-striking early in the week), but I was able to grind it out. My putter was unbelievably hot; that was a huge (20-foot birdie) putt on the 16th hole. … This is great, it’s pretty special.”

Kuchar, who blew a two-stroke lead with three bogeys on his last four holes in round three, missed an 11-foot birdie putt that could have forced a playoff after a poor chip on the final hole and also closed with a 67.

Hoffman, from Poway, birdied the last four holes in a bogey-free 64, while Steele, who played at Cal State Riverside, also posted a spotless 64. Park birdied four straight holes through No. 14 in a bogey-free 67 and Wheatcroft also had a flawless 67.

Defending champion Patrick Reed, coming off his victory in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, closed with a 71 and finished in a tie for 24th that included Phil Mickelson, playing for the first time this year, who had a second straight 68.

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