Golf: Bill Haas injured in fatal car crash, withdraws from PGA Tour event in California

Professional golfer Bill Haas was scheduled to play in the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades that begins on Thursday, but will withdraw to return to his home in Greenville, South Carolina, to recover.
Professional golfer Bill Haas was scheduled to play in the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades that begins on Thursday, but will withdraw to return to his home in Greenville, South Carolina, to recover.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (WASHINGTON POST) - PGA Tour golfer Bill Haas was injured in a car crash on Tuesday night (Feb 13) near Riviera Country Club, site of this week’s Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades, California.

Haas was the passenger in a Ferrari driven by Mark Gibello, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash also involved actor Luke Wilson, who was not seriously injured.

Haas was released after a brief hospitalisation and has withdrawn from the tournament, returning to his Greenville, South Carolina, home, according to a statement from the PGA Tour and Allen Hobbs, his manager.

“Last night, in Pacific Palisades, California, Bill Haas was involved in a serious car accident in which the driver – a member of the family with whom Haas and his family were staying for the Genesis Open – was killed. While Bill escaped serious injuries and has been released from the hospital, he is understandably shaken up and – more importantly – his deepest condolences go out to the host family during this tragic and difficult time,” the statement said.

“Bill will withdraw from the Genesis Open and plans to head home to Greenville to recover. He appreciates the support of friends, family and the golf world as a whole and he has asked for privacy as he processes what happened.”

The accident, which occurred a few miles from Riviera, took place around 6.30pm local time when the Ferrari clipped a Toyota SUV driven by Wilson in the 500 block of North Chautauqua Boulevard and collided with a BMW driven by a 50-year-old woman.

“I believe the cause (of the Ferrari driver’s death) was a high rate of speed and the individual lost control, colliding into several vehicles,” officer Mike Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department told the Palisades Post.

Haas, 35, and the woman from the other vehicle were taken to a hospital in serious condition.

Los Angeles Police Department Detective Jeff Fischer told KTLA that Haas was the passenger in the Ferrari and was “doing okay”.

His father, former PGA Tour pro Jay Haas, told the Golf Channel on Wednesday morning that his son has no broken bones but was experiencing pain and swelling in his leg.

“Bill was very fortunate,” Jay Haas told the Golf Channel.

Gibello, according to the Golf Channel, is a friend of Billy Harmon, Haas’ swing coach, and was “instrumental” in bringing the Walker Cup and US Open to Los Angeles Country Club. He was hosting Haas and his family during the Genesis Open.

The first round of the tournament is Thursday.