PALM HARBOR, Fla. – The Copperhead Course’s reputation as an unfriendly venue for frontrunners received another boost Sunday when Bill Haas couldn’t close out a one-shot lead with three holes to play.
After a perfect drive on the difficult 16th hole, Haas pushed his approach into the right greenside bunker. He splashed out to 12 feet and made bogey.
“That bunker shot, a 12-handicapper could have done that,” he said. “That was pretty bad.”
His bunker shot on the first playoff hole wasn’t much better, as Charl Schwartzel made a routine par to win the Valspar Championship and earn his first U.S. title since the 2011 Masters.
Haas shot a 1-over 72 Sunday to finish at 7-under 277.
“The whole day, I felt like I was hanging on by a thread and I made some nice par saves and was grinding my butt off,” he said. “With that said, I was one putt away from winning, and so you’ve got to take the positives and say that you can do it.”
Schwartzel’s comeback (five shots) was the largest in tournament history. The 54-hole leader here has gone on to win only twice in the last nine years.