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Monday, February 23, 2015

The Limerick Summary: 2015 Northern Trust Open

Winner: James Hahn

Around the wider world of golf: The Kobra strikes again! Lydia Ko won the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open on the LPGA/LET/ALPG; high schooler Hannah O’Sullivan became the youngest ever winner on the Symetra Tour when she won the Gateway Classic; and Anirban Lahiri won the Hero Indian Open on the ET/Asian Tour.

James Hahn

A little bit of rain made the Northern Trust Open oh so much more interesting.

In my opinion, those green complexes weren't meant to be stimped at 12 or 13. When you can't pitch directly onto the green, and when gentle putts from just off the front run 70 or 80 feet across the green and then 30 yards away, the greens need to be a bit softer for the contours! So I was thrilled to see players able to stop shots to the greens.

At least, they'd stop if you were hitting from the fairway... and a number of players simply couldn't hit them. The leading score slowly dropped until we had a 3-way playoff at -6, 3 shots more than when the round started, and none of the playoff contestants was closer than 4 shots off the lead when the day began.

Of course, it didn't seem like it would be much of a playoff. Dustin Johnson was cracking the ball way down the fairway, Paul Casey was methodically picking the course apart, and James Hahn had no Tour wins but a steady game. In all that rain, DJ seemed to be the prohibitive favorite, and he alone hit the first fairway, but virtually nobody faired well on the 18th all day so they all moved on with pars.

On the 10th only Casey managed to hit the fairway -- and he left the ball in the right spot, only to be knocked out by two improbable birdies from the rough.

And then on the 14th Hahn sunk a 25-foot birdie putt to crush DJ. The Player Formerly Known as That Gangnam Guy got his first PGA win on a legendary course against a decorated field.

Of course, getting that first win was the easy part. Now he has to get ready for his first child.

And so it is that James Hahn breaks through for his first PGA Tour win and, not coincidentally, his first Limerick Summary. I guess when it rains, it pours:
Hahn started the day four behind
But, though Riviera’s a grind,
He got to the playoff,
Gave Casey the brush-off
And birdied on DJ two times.
The photo came from the tournament wrap-up page at

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