Monday, May 18, 2009

Haas takes an encouraging step forward

Wrapping up the golf weekend:

-- It’s nice to see Bill Haas have a good finish again. He’d like to have the 17th hole over, no doubt, but a tie for third is his best finish in too long a time.

Haas had the can’t-miss look about him when he came out on tour but it hasn’t come easily to him. He’s struggled with the putter, which can be a drain on anyone’s psyche and definitely affected him.

He’s put some good rounds together this year – enough to make you think he’s on the right path – but hadn’t strung four together. Maybe this is the start of something big for him.

-- As of right now, Zach Johnson is the PGA Tour’s player of the year.

He’s won twice, threatened a handful of other times and looks as comfortable on the golf course as anyone these days.

Had he had made a terrible mess of the relatively routine par-3 second hole at Quail Hollow in the final round, Johnson might have another victory to his credit.

Obviously, he didn’t let it affect him too long.

In a day when bombers seem to rule, Johnson proves that you can still win the old-fashioned way – but hitting good shots and putting the lights out.

-- Michelle Wie tied for third at the Sybase Classic over the weekend, another encouraging finish, though she was never a serious threat to win.

Will she win on the LPGA Tour this year?

Not until she becomes a better putter. Now that she’s worked through the swing issues that nearly scuttled her career a couple of years ago, Wie needs to solve the mystery of putting.

If and when she does that, watch out.

Remember, she’s still a teenager. She just seems older.