Both players enjoyed success last year, but now the question becomes: What will they do for an encore?
Byrd, the defending champion of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, and Haas, the reigning FedExCup champ, will be in the final twosome when the 2012 season starts Friday at the Plantation Course at Kapalua.
Like every player in this week's 28-man field, Byrd and Haas are hoping to hit the ground running in Maui. A win this week -- actually, on Monday, since the tournament schedule has been shifted back one day from the usual Sunday finish -- can quickly eliminate a lot of stress.
"It's a good opportunity," Byrd said. "You're going to get four rounds in, you know you're going to knock some rust off and yes, I'm trying to have a great week this week. But i'm trying to keep it simple.
"I'm not thinking about winning. I'm thinking about taking care of the things I need to take care of, and hopefully that gets me in contention with nine holes to play."
A win also provides a quick boost in the FedExCup standings. When Byrd won last year, he was obviously the first-week leader in the standings, and lasted another two weeks at the top. In fact, he was one of just seven players not ranked outside the top 30 of the standings in any week during the 2011 FedExCup season.
Of course, Haas was the one who ended the season on top. But while his win at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola was his crowning achievement a year ago, he did have a nice start to the 2011 season, produing top-10 finishes in each of his three starts on TOUR and playing his first 12 consecutive rounds under par a year ago.
MORE ON BYRD: A year ago, Byrd outperformed the field with his scrambling performance around the greens at the Plantation Couse. Of the 10 greens Byrd missed in regulation, he successfully salvaged par or better eight times (80 percent). A portion of Byrd's scrambling success can be attributed to his solid putting numbers inside 10 feet. For the week, Byrd converted a field leading 91 percent of his putting efforts inside 10 feet ... Byrd has played 15 of his 16 career rounds under par on the Plantation Course.
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MORE ON HAAS: Watch out for Haas on Friday. His first-round scoring average in 2011 ranked seventh on TOUR ... Haas also ranked fifth in ball-striking and 11th in greens in regulation last year.