By Paul Myers
The first time most golf fans took notice of James Hahn, it wasn’t for the way he plays golf – it was for his dancing. On the wild 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, James Hahn pleased the crowd by doing the popular ‘Gangnam Style’ dance to celebrate his birdie. The dance drew attention from all across the sports world, and suddenly even casual golf fans knew the name James Hahn.
Of course, up to that point, Hahn hadn’t done much on the course to attract attention to himself. He turned professional in 2003, and had spent most of his time playing lower level events. Gradually, however, Hahn worked his way up the ranks and earned his way onto the PGA Tour. Early in the 2015 season, Hahn won the Northern Trust Open at Riviera for his first career PGA Tour victory. Along with that victory came an invitation to the 2015 Masters, which would be Hahn’s first trip to Augusta National.
A Powerful Player
So far on the 2015 PGA Tour season, James Hahn has averaged 294.1 yards off the tee, which ranks him 47th on the Tour in that category. Perhaps it isn’t surprising, considering that power, that Hahn ranks 12th on Tour in eagle frequency, making one every 103.5 holes. Also in that same vein, Hahn also performs well on par fives, averaging 4.62 strokes for a rank of 52nd.
While driving the ball for power is something that Hahn does well, putting the ball on the fairways and on the greens is still an area that could stand to improve. In 2015 he ranks just 173rd in fairways hit, and 123rd in greens in regulation. It is difficult to compete on the PGA Tour when playing from the rough too often, so Hahn certainly has his sights set on finding the short grass more frequently.
Not Yet Arrived in Majors
Despite now being a PGA Tour winner, Hahn has yet to make his mark in major championships. He has played in just two – the 2012 U.S. Open, and the 2015 Masters. Hahn missed the cut in both of those events. However, now that he does own a PGA Tour title, he will be playing in more majors and it should only be a matter of time before he finds his way onto the weekend in one of golf’s biggest events.
In fact, that occasion easily could have been the 2015 Masters, if not for the high standard of sportsmanship that was displayed by Hahn on Friday at Augusta. Hahn felt that his ball may have moved prior to hitting a putt, so he assessed himself a one stroke penalty. No one else saw the ball move, and he could have easily kept it to himself. Of course, golf is a game based on integrity, and Hahn displayed incredible honor by calling the penalty on himself. Unfortunately, he would go on to miss the cut by a margin of a single stroke.
At 33 years old, James Hahn is further along in his career than most first-time winners on Tour. However, with golfers competing at a high level well into their 40’s, there is still plenty of time for Hahn to build on his career accomplishments. With the personality he has displayed and the honor he showed at Augusta, James Hahn is an easy golfer for any fan to support.