- Bill Haas clinches the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup titles after playoff
- American claims $11.44 million in prize money at end-of-season event in Atlanta
- He defeats U.S. Ryder Cup star Hunter Mahan to seal his big-money triumph
- World No. 1 Luke Donald ties for third, ending his hopes of historic double
American golfer Bill Haas said he was "very lucky" after securing the biggest win of his career on Sunday.
The 29-year-old beat U.S Ryder Cup star Hunter Mahan on the third playoff hole at the Tour Championship in Atlanta to clinch the PGA's season-ending FedEx Cup and $11.44 million in prize money.
Haas needed a dramatic save after hitting a water hazard before going on to sink a four-foot putt on the par-three 18th hole at East Lake to finally see off his compatriot, after the duo had finished tied on eight under par through 72 holes.
The dramatic triumph saw Haas -- whose father Jay played in the Ryder Cup on three occasions and won nine times on the PGA Tour -- leap from 25th in the FedEx Cup standings to claim the $10 million jackpot.
He also pocketed $1.44 million for winning the Tour Championship, the final event in the four-tournament series, but said he was unaware of his double success until he stepped up to collect both trophies.
"I knew I was on the line, meaning the only way I could win in my position at the start of the week was to win the tournament," Haas told CNN. "Even with that happening I still could not win the FedEx Cup because other people who were way ahead of me, their points would have passed me.
"So in my head, focus on one task -- and that was to win this playoff -- and whatever happens after that, happens. The chips fell my way and I'm very lucky. "
It looked like Haas had blown his shot at glory when he hit a bogey and double bogey on the final two holes of Saturday's third round to lose a share of the lead, but a 68 on Sunday allowed him to haul himself back up the leaderboard.
It then looked as if nerves might get the better of Haas when the playoff began, as he hit a loose shot into the crowd on the first additional hole before finding the water on the second.
But the new world number 20 found the green with a stunning shot to force a third playoff hole, where his par putt proved enough for victory.
"When I got up there I'd heard the groans from the crowd," Haas said of the build-up to his incredible saving shot. "I thought it was in the water, so I get up there and it is somewhat in the water.
"But it's not fully submerged, so in my head I said to myself, 'I do have some sort of shot here.' I hit the shot I thought I had to hit, and it came out perfect."
Haas has also put himself in contention for the upcoming Presidents Cup clash between the U.S. and an International team starting on November 14, with American captain Fred Couples due to announce his final wildcard pick on Tuesday.
"I'm not going to say it gets me to Australia," Haas told the PGA Tour's official website regarding the possibility of playing in the competition, which takes place in Melbourne.
"It definitely puts me in the talk up there with some of the guys that everybody has been talking about."
Haas hopes to use this win as a springboard for the rest of his career as he looks to match some of the illustrious names who have previously clinched the FedEx Cup.
"It's pretty sweet. You look at the names who have previously won this, I'm trying to work my way to their stature and their level of play. This is just another stepping stone, I think I can get up there," he said.
"It'll take a lot of work. Guys like Vijay (Singh), Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods, obviously they've put their time in, they've put their work in and I need to do the same. I've got to work hard to try and get better each and every year."
Mahan thought he had the tournament sewn up after Haas ended up in the water, but the 29-year-old admitted Haas was in the ascendancy once his magnificent recovery shot fell close to the hole.
"I thought I had one on the second playoff hole and then he hits it out of the water to two feet," Mahan said. "It seemed like he was destined to win this week."
World number one Luke Donald knew a win at this event would be enough for him to claim the FedEx Cup, and in the process become the first man to top both the PGA and European Tour money lists.
The Briton birdied three of the last five holes to finish one shot behind Haas and Mahan, in a three-way tie for third position along with South Korea's K.J Choi and Australian Aaron Baddeley.
"I guess this is what the FedExCup is all about," said Donald, who would have claimed victory in the series if he had finished alone in third. "It's meant to be exciting."
Australian Jason Day fell away in the final two holes of the final round after he hit two bogeys to slide from eight under to finish in a tie for sixth place alongside compatriot Adam Scott and American Charles Howell III.
"Obviously I'm a little disappointed that I bogeyed the last two holes," Day, 23, said. "But I was trying to win out there."