Bill Haas starts strong at Congressional in title defense

Bill Haas watches his putt on the 11th green during the first round of the Quicken Loans National PGA golf tournament, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in Bethesda, Md. Haas bogeyed the hole. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)Bill Haas watches his putt on the 11th green during the first round of the Quicken Loans National PGA golf tournament, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in Bethesda, Md. Haas bogeyed the hole. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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Momentum doesn’t usually carry over from year to year, but defending champion Bill Haas is picking up right where he left off at Congressional Country Club.

Through the opening day of Tiger Woods’ Quicken Loans National, Haas is sitting in fourth place at 3-under — just two shots back of leader Greg Chalmers. The result was favorable for Haas on a day when the course at Congressional was less than forgiving.


SEE ALSO: Seeking first PGA Tour win, Greg Chalmers leads early at Congressional


“It is playing tough but I think if you hit the fairways, the greens are still receptive,” said Haas. “You just have to make your par on the into-the-wind, tough holes today.”

Haas has proved he is comfortable on some of golf’s most classic courses, claiming the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup at East Lake in 2011, the Northern Trust Open at Riviera in 2012, and winning Woods’ event at Congressional in 2013.

“Maybe because it’s somewhat — it fits the lay of the land,” said Haas. “It’s an older golf course. For some reason, I think a newer golf course, you can tell it’s been built by a bulldozer, doesn’t seem to suit my eye as much as the old-style golf courses. So happy to have done well on the good, classic golf courses.”

Haas has not forgotten his success in 2013 and after a good first round is willing to consider the possibility of repeating his feat from last year.

“Absolutely. Any time you get that feeling,” said Haas when asked if he was hungry for another win. “I was having them out there today remembering some of the shots on Sunday. We had some similar pins yesterday to last Sunday and I remember hitting some good shots in there. It’s a feeling you want to have more often for sure, and back here walking on the Congressional grounds, it gets the juices flowing. If anything I would love to have a good weekend and try to contend again.”

Though there is still a lot of golf to be played at Congressional this week, Haas thinks if he can continue his run of success into the weekend he just might have a shot at duplicating last year’s result.


SEE ALSO: Tiger Woods’ return: back good, short game not so much


“You know, my only bogey was a 3-putt on probably the hardest hole on the course, so I wish I could have that 3-putt back,” said Haas. “Other than that, this was a nice round to start the week. Obviously hopefully the ball-striking stays the same but I would like to putt a little nicer and get a little more out of it. Any time you shoot in the 60s here, you have to be happy.

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