The 2011 PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup came to a thrilling conclusion with the first-ever sudden death playoff for the FedExCup. With a trio of pars, including a brilliant save out of a greenside water hazard on the second playoff hole, Bill Haas defeated Hunter Mahan to win the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and the FedExCup. Haas, who had lost two playoffs earlier in the season, broke through to claim his first win of 2011 on the TOUR's most pressure-packed stage. The 29-year-old Wake Forest graduate headed to Atlanta for his first appearance in the TOUR Championship at No. 25 in the standings and left a FedExCup champion. Here's a look at Haas' season and how he won the FedExCup:
Haas' reaction to winning the FedExCup
• On when he realized he had won the FedExCup: "We went up and did some TV interviews up in the grandstands there on 18 and both trophies were there and there was no other player, (laughter), so I kind of assumed and I looked at my wife and she was there, and she nodded her head. So that was when I realized."
• On not knowing the FedExCup was on the line in the playoff: "I knew if I won, that was the only way I could win the FedExCup. If I finished second, I knew I couldn't win the FedExCup. So in theory I knew I was playing for it. I'm not going to sit there and say, well, it's not a million on the line here, there's $11 million, let's put some more pressure on it, because it's not worth it. It's not worth that stress. I was just trying to win that golf tournament ... I was just trying to hit each shot, and now it just fell that way. It's awesome."
• On overcoming adversity down the stretch: "I can't say the word fortunate or lucky or whatever enough. I hit horrendous shots. I just fortunately hit really good recovery shots. I wish I wouldn't have been in that situation, I wish I could have hit a good tee shot on 16 in regulation and made par, and I wish I could have made the putt from 10 feet on 18 in regulation, and all this wouldn't be we'd still be talking here, but it would be not nearly as cool, I guess, or not nearly as exciting for the fans. That's not the reason I did it, but yeah, I don't know."
• On his blast from a greenside water hazard on No 17: "You play it like a bunker shot, for those of you that want to know, if there's a little bit of water, if you don't mind getting your feet dirty, and then blast it out of there. It came out perfect. Lucky."
• On what he will do with the $10 million bonus: "I think I need to think about it long and hard, but I do need to give myself some sort of reward, some sort of toy or whatever it may be, I'll reward myself. Me and my wife are maybe in the process of building a house. We've got plans, got land and all that stuff, and this goes right towards it. That's huge. That would be a big chunk. I'll try not to think about it too much. Just the next tournament we play, everybody is even, and I've got to go out and grind it out again."
Season in review
One "All-or-nothing shot" from Bill Haas on the second playoff hole at East Lake Golf Club transformed his 2011 season from "What might have been" to "One for the ages." Haas, who was winless in 2011 with a pair of playoff defeats, hadn't been inside the FedExCup top 10 since February when he surged from 25th to 1st at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. The 29-year-old got off to a quick start, notching three of his seven 2011 top 10s in his first three starts, including a playoff loss in his Bob Hope Classic title defense. Haas flew under the radar for much of the summer, emerging for a playoff appearance at The Greenbrier Classic and a T12 at the PGA Championship in Atlanta. He entered the Playoffs at No. 15 in the FedExCup, giving up 10 spots with finishes of T24, T61 and T16. After a closing 78 at Cog Hill, Haas rebounded with four rounds in the 60s at East Lake en route to winning the FedExCup. As a bonus, two days after claiming the trophy, Haas was selected by U.S. Captain Fred Couples for his first Presidents Cup appearance.
How Haas got here
Breaking down the FedExCup points won and rank after each start in 2011