Haas returns to course for first time since fatal car crash

Bill Haas is back competing this week at the Valspar Championship after his involvement in a fatal car accident.

The 2011 FedEx Cup winner's friend Mark Gibello was killed in the crash that happened near Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles on February 13.

Gibello's Ferrari was clipped by another car and slammed into a pole. Haas, who escaped serious injury, was released from the hospital shortly afterwards.

''There's not many templates to go by on something like this,'' Haas said in quotes reported by the Golf Channel. ''I was in a state of shock, disbelief. It was a tragic event, traumatic. I'm still unsure how to handle it. I keep going back to focusing on the Gibello family.''

Though Haas' mind is understandably still focused on things other than golf, he felt it was time to return to the course.

''The amount of love and support and outreach I got from my peers and friends has been amazing,'' said the 35-year-old. ''At the same time, a friend of mine is not here anymore.

"There's just no real way to explain life, why it happens and how it happens. You can't take tomorrow for granted. You have to enjoy today and prepare for tomorrow.

"All that said, I still feel like I have to go compete. I can't just say golf doesn't matter. That's what I do. I think that's what Mark would want.

''He was a golf fan. He loved golf. He would want me to care about how I play.''

Haas, ranked 71st in the world, has not won since the 2015 Humana Challenge, but he finished in a tie for fifth at last year's U.S. Open.

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