LA QUINTA, Calif. – Bill Haas fractured his left wrist while falling down a set of stairs last April.
When asked if it’s fully healed now, he says, “Not really.”
When asked it still hurts, he says only at “random times.”
“The only thing I’m concerned about is whether or not I favor it unconsciously,” he said. “Has it changed my swing or do I have less power because of it?”
That injury led to a winless year for Haas in 2014, his first since '09. Though he didn’t miss a cut and tied for second in Greensboro, his consistently decent play wasn’t enough to put him on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. (In hindsight, that’s probably best.)
For the past three months, Haas hasn’t practiced. He’s played in only a few outings. His doctors said that if he wanted to be pain-free, to give his injury a chance to heal, then he needed to shelve the clubs. So he did.
“I shouldn’t even say this,” Haas said Saturday, “but I called my wife and said, ‘I think I’m going to have trouble scoring this week. I haven’t played in four months.’”
So much for that.
He’s at PGA West, after all, and over the past few years few places have been more accommodating.
Haas won here in 2010, when it was a five-round event and he shot 30 under par. The following year, he tied for second. A year ago, he was T-6.
And here he is again, rust or not, in a four-way tie for the lead at 17-under 199 with one round to go.
“Everybody takes breaks, so I shouldn’t even harp on that,” he said. “But I was so unsure of how I would be able to score out here, and so obviously I’m very pleased to be anywhere near the lead.”