Bill Haas maintains his lead at the 2013 Northern Trust Open, canning two birdies in his first three holes to move to 13-under for the championship. Haas is holding a two-shot lead over fellow Wake Forest Alum, Webb Simpson, who's cut the deficit by one shot through the final group's first four holes.
Haas and Simpson are two of the game's bright young stars, with major accomplishments (FedExCup title, U.S. Open title) under their belt already. Haas has had an up-and-down year since his win at Riviera in 2012, but it's no surprise to seem him back at the top of the leaderboard of the Northern Trust Open. He's steady tee-to-green, and certainly capable on the greens as he demonstrated at No. 3. After giving one back at the second hole, Haas drained a lengthy winding putt on the third to momentarily push his lead back to three shots.
Simpson, however, would respond just a minute later by putting his significantly shorter birdie putt in the hole to move to 11-under. The defending U.S. Open champion has flown under the radar through his first four events this year, but he'll undoubtedly make a charge at his former teammate on Sunday. As we saw last year, there are many opportunities for fireworks and leaderboard shuffling ahead.
The biggest name in the field, Phil Mickelson, is 1-under through his first seven holes and will spend his inward Sunday nine out of contention again. Keegan Bradley, who joined Haas and Mickelson in the Sunday playoff last year, is tied with Phil today at 4-under, well behind the pacesetter and defending champ. Here's the top of the leaderboard, along with some notables:
For a live leaderboard from Riviera, visit Golf.com.