CHARLOTTE, N.C.—James Hahn said the anxiety was creeping in after missing eight-straight cuts on the PGA Tour, causing him to wonder if he’d ever get his game straightened out.
But after a long talk with caddie Mark Urbanek last week, Hahn came to Quail Hollow Club with a renewed confidence and determination to end the streak.
He did that—and more.
Hahn beat Roberto Castro with a par on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff yesterday in the Wells Fargo Championship to snap the three-month slump and earn his second PGA Tour title.
“It was going bad for a while,” Hahn admitted. “Just didn’t have the confidence, didn’t believe in myself.
“I felt like I was putting in the work but wasn’t getting any reward for it. . . .
“You’re playing bad and you’re missing cuts, and there’s nothing funny about that,” he added.
The anxiety appeared a distant memory yesterday as a smiling Hahn cracked open a can of Bud Light as he sat behind the podium and asked the media, “You want one?”
Hahn, perhaps best known for his “Gangnam Style” birdie celebration three years ago on the Phoenix Open’s rowdy 16th hole, said when things got bad, he remained motivated by never wanting to lose his PGA Tour card and having to play on the Web.com Tour.
“I just told my wife, I can’t play there—I can’t,” Hahn recalled. “It’s not an option for me.
“I feel like I’m good enough and I need to put in more work to stay on this level, and it’s worth every minute of it,” he added.
“I have a lot of people counting on me.”
He won’t have to worry about that now for quite a while.
In winning, Hahn picked up the $1.3 million prize and an automatic two-year extension on the PGA Tour—not bad for a former Bay Area women’s shoes salesman.
“You have to keep believing in yourself and keep grinding,” he stressed.
“I constantly remind myself that I am good enough and belong out there.”
Hahn shot two-under 70 yesterday while Castro had a 71 to finish at nine-under, one shot ahead of Justin Rose (71).
Hahn also won the 2015 Northern Trust Open at Riviera.
Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson both shot 66 to tie for fourth at seven-under with third-round leader Rickie Fowler (74) and Andrew Loupe (71).
Adam Hadwin, of Abbotsford, B.C., finished four-over and tied for 61st.
Fellow Canadian Graham DeLaet, of Weyburn, Sask., shot a six-over in his final round and was eight-over for the tournament.