• American claims sixth PGA Tour victory
• Humana Challenge was 32-year-old's first start since November
• "If you'd have told me I would have done this last week, I would have laughed."
Bill Haas bounced back from an injury lay-off in some style to capture his sixth PGA Tour title with victory in the Humana Challenge.
A closing round of 67 gave the 32-year-old a one-shot win over Charley Hoffman, Brendan Steele, Sung Joon Park, Steve Wheatcroft and Matt Kuchar, all of whom tied for second.
It was Haas’ first appearance since the WGC-HSBC Champions in China last November where a poor performance convinced him to take some time out to allow a fracture in his left wrist heal properly.
He had been playing with the injury since the RBC Heritage last April but had played on before finally deciding to rest up.
To win in his first event back, then, defied even his expectations.
"To start the week and then on Sunday somewhat execute down the stretch is a great feeling.”
“If you would have told me I would have done this last week, I would have laughed at you,” said Haas, who won the same event in 2010 and whose previous victory came in the 2013 Quicken Loans National.
“I came out here and worked hard, so I was doing my best to be sharp, but … to start the week and then on Sunday somewhat execute down the stretch is a great feeling.”
Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson, below, made his first appearance of 2015 at La Quinta, finishing in a tie for 24th. Set to turn 45 in June and coming off the back of his first winless season on the PGA Tour since 2003, questions have been asked by some as to whether or not the five-time major winner career at the top end of the game is winding down.
For his part, the left-hander is confident he can still be a force.
“I'm really excited for this upcoming year,” he said. “I feel I'm ready to go, ready to get started. It was a good week this week, but some of the fine tuning needs to get just a little bit sharper.
“I need to make more birdies, hit the ball a little closer to the hole, just be a little bit sharper on every shot, so that I don't hit a loose one.”
Elsewhere at the Humana Challenge, Scotland’s Martin Laird finished in his first start since the Sanderson Farms Championship in November.
Bill Haas :: A major contender?
Can a fit and healthy Bill Haas challenge for major honours this season? If so, which of the four events do you expect to see him factor most in.