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August 22 2012

10:11 PM

Haas blog: I want to get to East Lake

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Bill Haas enters the FedExCup Playoffs this year ranked 21st.

Editor’s note: Reigning FedExCup champion Bill Haas is writing a blog for PGATOUR.COM throughout the Playoffs. Here is his most recent installment

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- The FedExCup Playoffs start on Thursday and I'm really excited. I'm 21st in the standings -- which is higher than where I was starting the week at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola last year. I know I have to play well, though, to realize my goal. I want to get to East Lake and prove that everything that happened there last year wasn’t a fluke.

This week is The Barclays, which is being played at Bethpage Black. I was here during the 2002 U.S. Open when my dad finished in a  tie for 12th. But I was 20 then, and I hadn't actually played it until this week. The course is very difficult and it’s going to be a good test of golf. Then we head to TPC Boston for the Deutsche Bank Championship. That's a place I like going to, so I am looking forward to next week. I've never been to Crooked Stick, which is where the BMW Championship will be held for the first time. I hear great things, though, so that week should be a good one, too.

And then, if I play well, comes the TOUR Championship. That was an amazing way to end the year for me. Just getting to the TOUR Championship was a goal, and for it to end with me winning the tournament and the FedExCup, so many things had to go my way. It just proves that anything can happen in this game. You've  just got to keep plugging, and hopefully it all works out. That's my goal right now, being in the position I'm in, is to get back to East Lake.

I won more than $11 million that week, which obviously was wonderful. And it's funny, people still ask about that vintage Coke machine they gave me after I won. We've used it a bunch, for sure. We've got Diet Coke and Coke, and there might be a cold beer in there, too. But this season was a new slate. You still go every tournament even par. You've got to break off the rear view mirror. That's what my dad always taught me. Good or bad, you have to break off the rear view mirror and hopefully bring it each and every week. It sounds a little cliché, but I don't think we're playing for money out here so much. The $10 million was certainly an unbelievable bonus that I feel very grateful for. But at some point you start trying to win golf tournaments, and certainly my goal at the TOUR Championship was just to win that tournament, and that was what I was happy with.

I'm kind of in the same position with the Ryder Cup. I really want to play for the U.S. and Captain Davis Love III. He's got four picks to make at the end of the Deutsche Bank Championship and I would love to be one of them. Again, I kind of compare it to the start of this year. Everybody is even par. I am just trying to play well this week, and if I play well enough to where I'm considered and I don't get picked, I think I'll just be happy with the fact that I'm playing well. If I play poorly these next couple weeks, then I definitely don't deserve a spot, and I'll be OK with that, too. The people that get picked will be playing the best golf, so if I can just have a good couple weeks and be close, then I'll be pleased.

Regardless, these next few weeks are going to be fun.

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