The PGA Tour has provided great finishes in the early part of the season; the Northern Trust Open was no different. It was another survival of the fittest type of final round with lighting greens that made the players want to pull their hair out. It was fitting that a playoff was needed to determine a champion.
The playoff was between long- hitting Dustin Johnson, Englishmen Paul Casey, and unknown American, James Hahn. It came down to Dustin Johnson and James Hahn after magical short game shots with impossible lies and angles, they were able to convert the unlikely birdies. Paul Casey was unable to make a par eliminating him from the playoff.
Up next was the, par 3 14th that saw both Dustin Johnson and James Hahn throw darts at the flag setting up a putting contest to determine a champion. Dustin Johnson putted first and it burned the edge opening the door for James Hahn to claim his 1st victory, with virtually the same as regulation he took advantage and drained it for the win! This was another tournament that showed the parity on tour with many 1st time winners already this season.
Getting to Know Your Winner
James Hahn is a 33-year old journeyman, an All-American from Cal Berkley. He didn’t finish his college career because he felt overwhelmed with both golf and school obligations. He worked in advertising for a little while, after that he was a salesman at a Nordstrom Shoe store and, with just 300 dollars to his name he decided to give golf another run.
He wasn’t known for his play before this victory, he was known for his dance at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The 16th is the craziest hole on the PGA Tour with thousands of fans not afraid to tell you what they think of your shot. James Hahn provided some excitement after making a birdie he broke out the Gagnon Style Dance to pump up the crowd!
James Hahn will now be known forever as a PGA Tour winner! Powered by a clutch weekend performance saw him shoot back to back 69’s and prove he could play with the big boys. With this victory he jumped from 297th in world to 86th, he also earned a spot in the Masters and maybe most importantly the check that comes along with the victory. He is such a great story for the golfing world, hopefully he can continue his good play throughout the rest of season and career.