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September 7 2012

8:15 PM

Red-hot putter propels Haas to ninth

Interview: Bill Haas

Following a second-round 64, Bill Haas reflects on his play in the 2012 BMW Championship with Doug Bell from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

CARMEL, Ind. -- Ten days ago, Bill Haas fired an unofficial 60 during a charity event in Oregon.

On Friday, when the stakes were much higher, Haas tied the course record at Crooked Stick with a 64 that lifted him into a tie for ninth at the midway point of the BMW Championship. He’s four strokes off the pace set by Vijay Singh.

Haas made seven birdies, an eagle and dropped just one shot to par as he moved up 42 spots on the leaderboard. He attributed the surge to a red-hot putter which is a nice complement when a player is tied for third in greens in regulation through 36 holes.

The 24 putts Haas used in the second round were nine fewer than he took Thursday. He ranks ninth in strokes gained putting overall (gaining 4.370 on the field on Friday) and he's tied for first in distance of putts made.

"I hit it pretty similar yesterday, just couldn't get the putter going, and today it was hot," Haas said. "I made actually two nice 10-footers for par and one for bogey.  If you don't make those and I don't make a couple others, it's the same old story, 2 under, 1 under par.

“It's nice to see some putts go in, and you're going to have to do it. They're going so low out here. The course is just prime for scoring. Happy to shoot a good number."

Haas might have owned the course record had it not been for that bogey at the 17th. He rolled in birdie putts of 6, 9 and 8 feet in his first five holes, then made an 11-footer for eagle at No. 9. He followed with an 8-footer at the 10th, a 19-footer at the 13th, two-putted No. 15 from 27 feet and finished off with a 27-footer at the 16th.

"Really the eagle at 9 got me going and made some nice ones on the back," Haas said.

Haas, who won the Northern Trust Open earlier this year, would like to carry the momentum he gained on Friday into the weekend. The defending FedExCup champion is battling to maintain his spot in the top 30 so he can play at East Lake again.

After opening with a 71, Haas, who came into the week ranked 28th in the FedExCup, found himself on the outside looking in. He's gained a spot now, though, and wants to continue the trend.

"The truth is if I have a good weekend, I get to play at East Lake, and if I don't, I don't,” he said. “That's just the way it is, and I wish I could be that relaxed out there on the course about it, but I have to keep telling myself that to just go play the game, let it come to me, and if it works out, great.

“If not, it's still been a good year."

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