Tune in at 3:00 PM ET on Sunday for final round coverage of the Northern Trust Open. Ryan Kelly will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
Hello and welcome to theScore's ongoing coverage of the PGA Tour. Today we present the final round of the Northern Trust Open from Riviera CC in Los Angeles. The defending champion, Bill Haas, surged into the 54-hole lead on the strength of a seven-under round of 64.
He was joined in the final group by a pair of major champions in 2012 U.S. Open Webb Simpson and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
In early action, Simpson has pulled to within two (-11) of Haas' lead (-13) while Hunter Mahan is the hottest player on the course -- 4-under through 6 -- to sit solo third at -10.
Par 4 7th - After leaving his approach shot short in the front bunker, Mahan is unable to get up-and-down to save par. The bogey drops him to -9 and into a five-way share of third.
Par 3 6th - The tee shot of Haas came up just short of the putting surface and his 60-footer up the hill from the fringe isn't hit nearly close to hard enough. He'll still have 10-12-feet left for par. Simpson, who missed the green left, chopped out of some thickish rough, but his ball released towards the hole and leaves him a manageable (6-feet or so) look at par.
Par 3 6th - His lag putt was not the best, and his ball took a hop halfway to the hole, but neither matter as Haas' par-saver rolls in. Simpson, from half the length, but back down the hill, can't get his to go. Haas has now restored his 3-shot edge.
Par 4 7th - Freddie Jacobson had a pretty long look at birdie down the hill, but he never gave it enough gas and it spills off to the left. Meanwhile, back on the tee, Haas and Simpson both go with less than driver and both find themselves in the middle-left portion of the fairway.
Par 4 7th - John Merrick with a 21-footer for birdie from just off the green and he finds the range, cashing-in for birdie to join Simpson on -10.
Par 4 7th - With the ball slightly above his feet, Haas doesn't get a pure strike, catching turf first and his approach comes up just short. Simpson hits a wonderful approach that lands just past pin-high and spins to about 6-feet.
Par 4 7th - Haas' chip from front of the green is okay, but not great, by any stretch leaving himself about 8-feet for par. Unlike the par hole, he can't make up for it though, as his attempt isn't hit firm enough and it slides by on the right. Simpson then from just over 5-feet for his birdie, plays too much break on the right and cannot make it a 2-shot swing.
Bill Haas had gone 40 holes without a bogey to start the day. Now has 2 in a six-hole stretch.
Par 4 8th - Freddie Jacobson now makes it a three-way share of second, rolling in the birdie putt to join Merrick and Simpson on -10.
Par 4 8th - Haas aims for the left side of the split fairway, but can't get his ball there, finding the bunker. Simpson took out 3-wood and blocked it towards the right where there is nothing but trouble.
In a quick turn of events, the group of those within two of the lead has now multiplied. Mahan and Charlie Beljan both birdie the 9th to get to -10.
Par 4 8th - Simpson's ball was in a wooded area and he elected to take a penalty drop.
Par 4 9th - Merrick's approach is a good one, but he carried it just a smidgen too far. He would have preferred an uphill putt, but will instead have to navigate the putt downhill.
Par 4 8th - Simpson tried to smash a 5-iron and nearly got it onto the green, but it landed just short into the slope in front and rolls back into the rough. Haas once again left an approach short, tugging it slightly left and finding the rough as well.
Par 4 9th - Jacobson and Merrick both miss their birdie attempts.
Par 4 8th - Simpson pitches up onto the green, about 10-feet short. Haas then hits a poor chip out of a dreadful lie and barely gets it on the surface, he'll have about 35-feet for his par.
Par 4 8th - Haas doesn't get his par putt all the way to the hole and that will back-to-back bogeys for the leader.
When he taps-in, it will be second back-to-back bogey stretch for Haas. Also played 2nd & 3rd -- his 11th & 12th -- bogey-bogey on Thursday.
Par 4 8th - Simpson's bogey putt was actually closer to 17-feet but he was able to coax it in and will still be within two after the bogey from Haas.
Par 4 9th - All three players in the final group let their tee shots leak to the right, with Haas being the furthest offline.
Par 4 10th - Mahan's tee shot finds the green-side bunker on the right, which will make his second shot quite difficult. Beljan's is tugged to the left, finding the primary rough, but even with a bunker between him and the flag he has a good opportunity to get away with a par.
Par 4 9th - Haas hoists a pitching wedge from the rough and he carries it well too far. He'll have about 40-feet down the hill for his birdie.
Par 4 10th - Beljan elects to chip out right of the bunker and leave himself a 40-footer for birdie. Mahan tries to put a mess of spin on his shot out of the sand, but can't keep it on the green, trickling into another bunker.
Par 4 10th - The good news for Mahan is that he is now on the green. The bad new is that his par attempt will be in the 8-foot range and have quite a lot of turn in it.
Par 4 9th - the long birdie putt for Haas was never on line, but serves as a pretty good lag putt. He'll have 4-feet or so for par, back up the hill.
@JohnT: Wish I could tell you. Just focusing on the lead groups today it seems.
Par 4 9th - Simpson with a solid bounce-back, cashing-in the birdie to get back to -10.
Par 4 10th - Beljan is unable to get down in two from where he left his second shot, and the three-putt bogey drops him to -9. Mahan, meanwhile, with the BIG par-save after going bunker to bunker.
Par 4 10th - Merrick and Jacobson both laid up off the tee and they both hit quality wedge shots that give him about 10-12-feet each for birdie.
Par 4 10th - Merrick from 15-feet just off the green is able to roll in his birdie to join Haas at -11. Back on the tee, Simpson lays up while Haas lands his ball on the green, but it scoots off to the left. He might have to do what Beljan did and pitch back to the middle.
Par 5 11th - Mahan rips his tee ball down the left side and is well positioned in the fairway to attack the green with his second shot.
Par 5 11th - Mahan is safely aboard the par 5 green in two, with his second landing on the front portion and rolling up to about pin-high, maybe 30-feet left of the flag.
Par 4 10th - Both Jacobson and Luke Donald in the penultimate grouping missed birdie putts of less than 9-feet. In the final group, Simpson hit a good wedge shot that lands in the heart of the green and leaves him 15-feet or so for birdie. Haas decides not to play to the right and instead tries to go at the flag, but again the strike is not a good one. It lands near the hole, but then skips forward and off the green, finding the bunker.
Par 4 10th - Haas with a really solid recovery shot from the sand, but will still need to drain an 8-footer for par to avoid dropping out of a share of the lead. Simpson's mid-range birdie putt isn't hit hard enough to get to the hole, but he should be pleased to get away with a par.
Par 5 11th - Mahan's eagle putt that would have given him the outright lead, just sneaks off to the right and misses low. He taps-in for birdie though and joins Merrick and Haas on -11.
Par 4 10th - Charl Schwartzel watches his birdie putt creep in on the right edge to get to -10, while Hass -- on a similar line -- misses his par putt and drops out of the joint lead.