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Sports Shorts: US golfer Haas involved in car crash with actor Luke Wilson

February 15, 2018 10:28 IST
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US golfer Bill Haas has excused himself from playing the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades that starts today

IMAGE: US golfer Bill Haas has excused himself from playing the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades that starts today. Photograph: Justin Heiman/Getty Images

US professional golfer Bill Haas escaped serious injury in a fatal three-car collision in Los Angeles on Tuesday that also involved actor Luke Wilson, but will drop out of a tournament as a result, his manager and local officials said on Wednesday.

Haas, a six-time PGA Tour winner, was scheduled to play in the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades that begins Thursday, but will withdraw to recover at his home in Greenville, South Carolina, his manager said.


"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," manager Allen Hobbs, of Players Group Management, said in a statement.

The accident, which killed one person, occurred at about 6:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday on a suburban road in the upscale Pacific Palisades section of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Three cars and a utility pole were involved in the crash, Los Angeles police said, adding that the 71-year-old male driver of one of the cars was killed.

The man was a member of a family with whom Haas and his family were staying for the Genesis Open, Hobbs said.

A police spokesman said Wilson was in one of the cars, but had no information on his condition. Wilson, whose movies include "The Royal Tenenbaums," is the brother of fellow actors Owen and Andrew Wilson.

Haas, who reached a career-high 12th in the world golf rankings in 2012, is currently ranked 67th. He joined the PGA Tour in 2006 and has earned six victories, most recently at the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, California, in 2015.

He enjoyed his best finish at a major tournament when he earned a share of fifth place at the US Open in 2017.

Haas, whose father is a nine-time PGA Tour winner, represented the United States three times at the Presidents Cup, a biennial competition between the U.S. and an international team of players from the rest of the world excluding Europe.

F1 to offer supercar rides with top race drivers

Formula One fans will have the chance to be driven around race circuits in supercars this season by the likes of McLaren's double world champion Fernando Alonso and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The 'Pirelli hot laps' programme, announced on Wednesday, will start at the Bahrain Grand Prix in early April and feature at nine other rounds of the 21-race championship.

McLaren, who are owned largely by Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, and Red Bull's new title sponsors Aston Martin have signed up already with other manufacturers to be announced soon.

Formula One said in a statement that Aston Martin would use their new V8 Vantage with Red Bull's Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Dutch driver Verstappen among those at the wheel.

McLaren will provide a 720s supercar with drivers to include Spaniard Alonso, Belgian team mate Stoffel Vandoorne, Finland's retired double world champion Mika Hakkinen and British reserve Lando Norris.

A bespoke garage will be provided for the programme, which will run special competitions and promotions for fans to win rides as well as catering for celebrities and guests.

Leading drivers have given occasional 'taxi rides' for visiting celebrities in the past, with four-times champion Lewis Hamilton taking Jamaican Olympic sprint great Usain Bolt around the U.S. Grand Prix circuit in a Mercedes last year.

There has been no formal programme, however, involving the general public and allowing the sport's manufacturers to show off their supercars.

Formula One, which already has a two-seater race car 'experiences' programme for guest VIPs and those who can afford it, did not say which grands prix would feature after Bahrain.

"The once in a lifetime experience of being driven at speed by a racing driver at iconic race circuits in dream cars is truly unique," said Formula One's commercial managing director Sean Bratches in a statement.

"We are seeking to be fan first and this is yet another example of our efforts to that end."

The season starts in Australia on March 25.

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