The Golfer of the Year – an award Ballesteros won on three occasions in 1986, ‘88 and ‘91 – is voted for by the golf media. He beat off competition from Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rookie of the Year Jon Rahm...
James Hahn beats Casey & Johnson in thrilling
Northern Trust Open play-off
American James Hahn edged out countryman Dustin Johnson and England’s Paul Casey in a play-off to claim a thrilling win at the Northern Trust Open in California.
The 33-year-old, who is due to become a father in three weeks, insists “Riviera” has now become a contender for the name of his baby daughter.
Sergio Garcia had lead going into the final stages at Riviera Country Club but bogeyed his last two holes to drop to -5 leaving Hahn, Casey and Johnson in the play-off at -6.
Casey was eliminated on the second play-off hole before Hahn made a 24ft birdie putt to see off Johnson on the par-3 14th.
And after sealing his spot in the Masters with a maiden PGA Tour win, Hahn admitted he can’t really think about Augusta until his baby is born.
“To me the biggest thing in my life right now is the birth of my daughter in three weeks,” Hahn said.
“That, to me, kind of humbles myself and kind of brings me down to reality that, you know, I'm going to be a dad here in three weeks. I couldn't be more excited, and more nervous that we don't have a name picked out yet.
“I’m going to have to talk to my wife about Riviera. I think that's a good name. But we'll see what she says when I get home.
“I grew up in northern California, and this is one of the biggest tournaments that, you know, growing up as a kid, I would watch on TV.
"There are a lot of legends that came through here, and being in the locker room and seeing all the murals and pictures of past legends; and to be able to think that one day, I would be up on that same wall - I’m speechless.”
Hahn jumps from 297 in the Official World Golf Ranking to 83rd while Casey has moved up from 85 to 65.
Despite missing out, Casey was pleased with his performance.
“Very much feel happy with the game,” he said.
“It's very much going the right direction, and it's a pleasure to be out there and back in the mix and get the juices flowing.”
After a six-month break to sort out ‘personal issues’, Johnson is pleased to be back competing on the golf course.
“Obviously it's just going to get better, so I'm looking forward to the rest of the season,” he said.
Garcia insisted he didn’t play well all week despite narrowly missing out on the victory.
“I’ve always been truthful to myself and I didn't deserve to win this week, it's as simple as that,” he said.
“It caught up with me on the last, six, seven holes.”
“But I didn't play well at all this week. It was already a good effort for me to have a chance, and unfortunately it's never nice to finish bogey, bogey, to get outside the playoff. But I can't really be disappointed because I didn't play well enough.”
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