Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bill Haas wound up winning a combined $11.44 million

ATLANTA -- Just call him Dollar Bill, even though he had no clue he was pulling off one of the biggest 11th-hour heists in sports history. After he had maneuvered his way through an excruciating series of improbable, head-spinning scenarios with other contenders, Bill Haas had no idea that, as he stood on the tee box opposite Hunter Mahan preparing for a playoff at the Tour Championship, there was a staggering $11.44 million up for grabs. "I don't want to sound ignorant, oblivious to the situation," he laughed. "But I wasn't really sure." Hey, for most of the day, neither were we. After a final round in which five different players at East Lake Golf Club were tabbed as the projected winner of the biggest bonus in golf, Haas was the last man on the property to grasp what was really on the table. But he was the one holding the chrome and bags of cash at the end.

It was hard to disregard the miracle that took place a few feet below Finchem's spot in the grandstand. With statistical pandemonium breaking loose, Haas saved...
the day and the commish came up smelling like a bazillion bucks again, especially with FedEx senior VP Don Colleran seated in a front-row seat, perhaps 15 feet away. Why? FedEx's sponsorship expires after 2012. Seriously, Finchem was grinning at least as broadly as Haas when the chrome and cash was disseminated. Everything that needed to happen for Haas to win transpired, and the FedEx series had its wildest ending yet. "It worked out better than I could have imagined," Bill said. Or more accurately, better than anybody not possessing a math degree could have figured.

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