• Haas wins National for fifth career crown

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    Bill Haas AFP PHOTO

    BETHESDA, Maryland: Bill Haas fired a five-under par 66 on Sunday to win the $6.5 million US PGA National, capturing his fifth career title and leaping into the top 10 on the tour’s season money list.

    The 31-year-old American took the top prize of $1.1 million at Congressional Country Club by finishing 72 holes on 12-under par 272, beating countryman Roberto Castro by three strokes.

    “Unbelievable special day. It’s a great feeling,” Haas said. “It was just my week, one of those weeks where the 12-footers went in instead of missed.”

    South Korean rookie Lee Dong-Hwan made nine birdies in a sizzling round of 64 for his best finish in 18 US PGA starts, a share of third with American Jason Kokrak on 276, one shot ahead of 2009 British Open winner Stewart Cink.

    US prodigy Jordan Spieth, trying at 19 to become the youngest US PGA Tour winner since 1931, fired a 69 to finish sixth on 278.

    World number one Tiger Woods, the tournament host who could not play this week because of a left elbow injury, plans to begin strength work in a few days with plans to return to action in the British Open at Muirfield on July 18-21.

    “I start the strengthening process this week and see where that puts me and then ball striking after that,” Woods said.

    Haas, who has made $2.76 million this year with seven top-10 finishes, also won the 2010 Bob Hope Classic and Viking Classic, the 2011 Tour Championship and playoff title and last year’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera.

    Haas joined Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and new US Open champion Justin Rose of England as winners of at least one title a year the past four seasons.

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