NCGA Golf

Spring 2018

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bounced around golf's minor leagues, from the Korean Tour and Canadian Tour to the Nationwide-turned-Web.com Tour. In 2008, he was competing at an event in Edmonton, when he checked his bank account and discovered he had $280 left to his name. He clicked on Craigslist and scrolled through the help-wanted ads when he had an epiphany. "It kind of just hit me, like, 'Hey, you have an opportunity to do something with your life.' And I was wasting it just hanging out with friends, partying on the weekends. I wasn't putting the time in," Hahn says. If he were going to flame out again, he would do so kicking and screaming. He outworked his competitors that week, and finished eighth. The $3,000 he earned felt like a million bucks. A year later, he won the Edmonton Open and cashed a check for $19,000. His childhood pal, Dong Yi, who later caddied for him and was a groomsman in his wedding, considers Hahn's triumph in Canada a turning point. "When he dedicated himself to the game, I knew he was going to make it," Yi said. "It was like a flip of a switch and he became one of the hardest workers." Champions are made while no one is looking. When home, Hahn practiced and played at Metropolitan Golf Links, TPC Stonebrae, and Lake Merced Golf Club. A few more hurdles still stood in his way of achieving his dream. Hahn four-putted from 70 feet when two would've earned him his Tour card at the 2009 PGA Tour Q-School. In 2010, he was on the brink of earning Tour privileges again, but dropped out of the top-25 automatic qualifiers from the Web.com Tour money list. Finally, 10 years after he turned pro, Hahn graduated to the PGA Tour after he won the 2012 Rex Hospital Open and finished fifth on the Web.com Tour season- long money list. After his rookie year, Hahn and wife, Stephanie, moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., for better year-round training conditions. The stars aligned for Hahn the week he won at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. His wife was pregnant with their first child, Kailee, and Hahn had low expectations. As one of the last men on the range on the eve of the 2015 Northern Trust, he flashed back to his days at Metropolitan Links, where he would attempt to hit wedge shots into baskets on the range. Riviera had a similar set up. It also rained during the final round, which reminded Hahn of all those days when he was the only golfer practicing on the range at Metropolitan in the rain. He experienced the best vibes on the putting green, needing just 22 putts in the final round. "It almost felt like there was nothing I could do wrong, that it really was my time to win a golf tournament, that there was some- thing else happening that allowed me to make those putts and hit those shots coming down the stretch," says Hahn, who became the first Cal alum to win on the PGA Tour. As for Hahn's seven-digit check waiting to be deposited in his car, it took a gentle nudge from his wife, who wondered if the check had cleared, to prompt Hahn to cash it. In the midst of filling out his deposit slip, Hahn realized he'd left his identification in the car. He asked a teller to hold on to his check and watched her eyes grow to the size of meatballs at all those zeros. "By the time I got back, there were two private client reps in suits standing by to give me five-star service," Hahn says. "Memories like that, I wouldn't have if I did direct deposit." Hahn added another trophy in 2016 at the Wells Fargo Championship in Char- lotte, and has earned more than $9 million in his career. For now, golf is his consuming passion, but someday when his game has withered and the fairytale life he leads is over, he already can envision returning to Northern California and passing on the life lessons he's learned from golf. "I've always felt like the game has given me so much that one day when all this is over I really want to help out the kids that are kind of lost in the world and let them know that anything's possible," Hahn says. "You just have to make the right choices and work harder than everyone else." That simple secret to his success is one Hahn has taken to the bank. 26 SPRING 2018 | NCGA.ORG Specializing in Workers' Compensation Property & Casualty Advanced Claims Service Bilingual Loss Control (PSOR\HH%HQHÀWV Pat Hoffman • Keith Schuler Tony Pozas • Tom Hughes (800) 873-3725 CA DOI License #0B01094 | www.iwins.com Serving clubs' needs since 1987 LТºĴļĽãĮčŅ×ãčŅĽļøéÎčĮąé

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