CHARLOTTE, N.C. — James Hahn, who missed eight consecutive cuts prior to this weekend at Quail Hollow, flipped the script Sunday, winning the Wells Fargo Championship in a playoff against Roberto Castro.
“Eight straight missed cuts is tough. Not many people can understand this. You start questioning if you’re good enough and start wondering if you should sell shoes for a living,” a teary-eyed Hahn, who did sell shoes before turning pro, said on the green after the win. “It’s crazy to call myself a two-time PGA Tour champion. To do this on the first playoff hole is amazing.”
Hahn walked onto the 18th green with a one-stroke lead over Castro to end the fourth round. Castro made the green on the notoriously difficult par-4 hole in two shots, leaving 11 yards between his ball and the cup. His first put ran out of juice more than two yards from the hole to set up a par putt, but he muscled the short shot past the cup and tapped in for bogey.
Hahn also left his first putt on 18 well short of the cup. However, he converted the six-foot putt for par and headed back to the 18th tee for the playoff.
Castro teed off first and hooked his driver into the creek that runs along the fairway. He followed his errant tee shot with a shot into the gallery behind the green off a man’s face and into another spectator’s shoe. After removing his ball from a leather loafer, Castro managed to bogey the hole and put the pressure on Hahn. But Hahn capitalized with a 314-yard drive straight down the middle and parred the hole to capture the trophy.
Roberto Castro hit his approach on 18 into a spectators shoe on the first playoff hole. pic.twitter.com/Aj67E0GcOn— Dennis O'Donnell (@KPIXSPORTS) May 8, 2016
Sunday was Hahn’s second PGA Tour win. His first came at the Northern Trust Open in February 2015.
Justin Rose finished in third place at 8 under after a 1-under 71 on Sunday.
Rickie Fowler entered the round with the lead, but a 2-over 74 knocked him down into a fourth-place tie with Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, who both posted 6-under 66s on Sunday to finish 7 under. Andrew Loupe, who led going into Saturday, also finished 7 under.
“Obviously it sucks,” Fowler said of his round. “It's disappointing knowing where my game was at coming into today. I felt really good about being in the final group and getting the job done. But yeah, some little off swings off the tee and then catching that mud ball on 7, not exactly good fortune.”
The PGA Tour ships to TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla., next week for The Players Championship.