WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. - Bill Haas understands being close enough to touch something but coming up a few inches short.
Until last week, his near misses included losing the 2011 Greenbrier Classic in a playoff with Scott Stallings.
He made a leap when he captured the AT&T National at Congressional with a final-round 5-under 66 - his fifth PGA Tour victory - that shot him from 26th to 7th in the FedEx Points standings.
Fast-forward four days later to the 7,287 yard, par 70 Old White TPC at the Greenbrier Resort, where the table is set for the native of Charlotte, N.C., to move closer to the top of the FedEx points list.
"Any time you make a cut, you're going to make some points," said Haas, who will tee off at 7:50 a.m. today from the No. 10 tee. "I finished 31st and 32nd on the list two separate years, both those years, you know, single-digit points away from making it almost. I think of every week as an opportunity. I don't think this week is the do-or-die week to become No. 1 and stay No. 1 the rest of the year, but every week is a great opportunity."
Four of the six players ahead of Haas aren't at the Greenbrier, including No. 1 Tiger Woods, No. 2 Matt Kuchar and No. 3 Brandt Snedeker. Fourth-place Phil Mickelson will try to make the cut for the first time in three tries at the Greenbrier, while No. 5 Billy Horschel tied for 33rd last year with Haas.
There is little doubt Kuchar and Snedeker will be back at it next week at the John Deere Classic. Woods is nursing an injured left elbow and isn't expected back until the Open Championship on July 18.
For the first time since the implementation of the FedEx championship in 2007, the standings will determine who retains his Tour card for the next season, with the top 125 returning.
That certainly doesn't affect Haas, who has been a PGA Tour regular since finishing tied for 26th at Qualifying School in 2005 - one year after turning pro.
He has 12 made cuts in 16 events and seven top 10s in his eighth season on tour. His win puts the Charlotte, N.C. native in good company as one of four players with at least one PGA Tour victory in each of the last four years, joining 41-time winner Phil Mickelson, six-time champion Dustin Johnson and 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose.