He’d won on the PGA Tour before, but James Hahn had seen his share of ups-and-downs.
He garnered two top-10 finishes in 2014, the highest a T-5 finish at the Byron Nelson Champsionship. And the South Korean put it all together after a solid stretch in early 2015, winning the Northern Trust Open in a playoff in 2015 and earning his first bid into the Masters Tournament, The Open Championship, and PGA Championship.
But his 2016 season was shaping up to be a major disappointment, with eight consecutive missed cuts dating back to the first week in February.
That is, until Sunday, when Hahn outlasted Robert Castro in a playoff to pick up his second career Tour victory and securing his spot in the 2017 Masters. He also vaulted into the top 30 of the FedEx Cup standings, up from 126 when he started the week.
Previous major champions Justin Rose, Phil Mickeslon, and Rory McIlroy rounded out the top five and had their chances, but ultimately each fell short to take the title.
Hahn can now rest assured of his PGA Tour status for the next two years, as his victory secures an exemption. His Official World Golf Ranking also rose to No. 55, putting him within striking distance of qualifying for other major tournaments based on his rank.
Quail Hollow Club, where he won, also hosts the PGA Championship in 2017, giving him plenty of reason to set his sights even higher moving forward. And with a berth in the 2017 Masters Tournament guaranteed, he’ll have the chances to capitalize.