When the PGA Tour opened the 2011 season, one of its biggest marketing focuses was on the up-and-coming twenty-somethings playing on tour. They promoted Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson and Anthony Kim -- but for some reason missed promoting the guy who's now one of the hottest players on tour.
Bill Haas is used to being invisible and flying under the radar. He doesn't have the flowing locks or the youthful looks, but he is 28 and currently playing the best golf of any twentysomething on the PGA Tour.
If you go back to last season's Viking Classic, Haas has one win, two second-place finishes, and a T8 in four events.
"I'm 28, but bald," Haas said after Friday's second round. "I don't look 20-something. I can't really pull off that look, so I'm happy with the regular slacks and solid colored shirts and flying under the radar as you say. Just trying to let my clubs do a little more talking than they've done in the past."
If Haas was hoping to fly under the radar for the rest of the season, his cover was definitely blown on Friday with a six-under 66 -- the round included eight birdies -- that vaulted him to the top of an extremely impressive Farmers Insurance Open leaderboard.
With a two-shot lead going into the weekend, don't expect Haas to let off the gas one bit, not with the players currently within striking distance. Anthony Kim followed up his opening round 68 with a five-under 67 to take sole possession of second place.
Only a couple shots back is a group of elite players that includes Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, John Daly, and Hunter Mahan; Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson are currently six back of the lead.
It's the sort of leaderboard that should have Tour commissioner Tim Finchem jumping up and down with glee. With a number of European players opting to play abroad this year, the PGA Tour needs its big names more than ever.
There are still two rounds remaining, but the weekend at Torrey Pines is definitely shaping up to be one of the most highly anticipated weekends in some time. Bring your A-game, fellas.
- PGA Tour