TROON, Scotland – The statistic defies logic: Bill Haas, a six-time PGA Tour winner, hasn’t finished in the top 10 in 27 career major appearances.
“I’ve played it enough where I think I could have done better than I have in these tournaments,” he said Saturday night. “I typically don’t feel like I put pressure on myself. It’s just it’s the toughest test of golf that we play, and it’s beaten me more than I’ve beat it.”
That could all change Sunday, when Haas will enter the final round of The Open in solo third, six shots behind Henrik Stenson. It’s Haas’ best position ever through 54 holes, and he’ll play in the penultimate group with Andrew “Beef” Johnston.
“I certainly don’t think Phil (Mickelson) and Henrik Stenson are feeling the pressure tonight sleeping knowing that Beef and Bill Haas are behind them,” he said. “So we’ve got to use that to our advantage and just to try to surprise some people.”
Haas would love to get off to a similar start in the final round that he enjoyed on Day 3. He birdied four of his first eight holes Saturday and shot 69, one of only seven sub-70 rounds. His goal Sunday isn’t just to finish in the top 10 for the first time.
“I don’t think a ninth-place finish is going to change my career,” he said. “It certainly isn’t going to make me feel more competitive in majors. The only way to do that is to knock on the door coming down the stretch tomorrow.
“So if I go backward, I’ll be very disappointed. But I also think I could not do that. I think I can hang in there and hopefully I’ll shoot a good round.”