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June 30 2013

7:06 PM

AT&T National: Sunday observations

A putting tip from Brad Faxon helped Bill Haas win the AT&T National on Sunday. (Carr/Getty Images)

By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

BETHESDA, Md. -- Brad Faxon, your check is in the mail.

Bill Haas got a putting tip on Monday from Faxon, the veteran PGA TOUR player. Faxon has always had the reputation as a great putter and has the keen eyes of an instructor.

While playing in a Monday Pro-Am, Haas had a chat with Faxon who gave him a three-word lesson, “Look and go.”

Haas has not been putting poorly this year but he is better than his 83rd statistical ranking in strokes gained-putting. He had become too mechanical and wanted to restore some natural athleticism to his putting routine.

Faxon suggested Haas clear his mind of all thoughts and simply, “look and go.”

That seemed to free up Haas’ stroke en route to winning the AT&T National on Sunday. He had putting rounds of 27-31-26-28 and ranked second this week in strokes gained-putting. Haas has always been a quick player but he was extra speedy on the greens and repeatedly made clutch par saves in the final round.

He led the field by making 25 birdies on a very difficult golf course.

Every player on the PGA TOUR is one swing thought away from victory. “Look and go,” was perfect for Haas this week.

Thank you, Brad Faxon. The check is in the mail.

Observations

Hang tough: Roberto Castro should be very proud of his second-place finish. He was put in the spotlight with a first-round lead at THE PLAYERS Championship and did not perform well. Castro played in the final group, shared the lead and started his final round with a bogey at the first. You had to wonder if history would repeat and Castro’s round would head south. That bogey at the first turned out to be his only mistake of the day.

Castro finished the round with three birdies and 14 pars. Sunday’s round answered a lot of questions about Castro’s mental makeup.

Learning curve: The fact Jordan Spieth is 19 years old and playing on the PGA TOUR tells you all you need to know about his talent level. At the same time, his maturation process is not complete. Spieth hits plenty of amazing shots. He holed out a wedge from the fairway bunker at the opening hole on Sunday for eagle. Spieth can match anyone on TOUR for the quality of his good shots, it’s the bad shots that need to improve. During Saturday’s round, Spieth made double bogey at the eighth hole when he had just 101 yards to the hole. He followed that with a bogey at the ninth from 99 yards. Spieth says his swing is a little flat which affects the plane and leads to some wayward shots. Once he improves the quality of his bad shots, Spieth will win on TOUR and it may happen this summer.

Leaderboard watching: Jason Kokrak knew exactly where he stood the entire tournament. Some players won’t look at the boards the entire day while some will start watching on the back nine. Kokrak looked and studied every leaderboard he passed. He wasn’t able to catch Haas, but Kokrak always knew where he stood in the field.

The breaks: Haas had two critical breaks on the way to victory. After hitting into the bunker at the 13th hole, Haas made a par putt that appeared to miss. Instead, the ball traveled 360 degrees around the cup and tumbled home. At the 14th hole, Haas’ approach landed in the rough, to the right of the green and took a huge kick onto the putting surface. When good fortune presented itself, Haas took advantage, making the 11-foot birdie at the 14th.

Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here

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