WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – For Tour types bad memories are like bad garbage. That is to say any negative mental baggage is best sent packing before it can do any real damage.
James Hahn, however, would be the exception to the rule. When asked to recap what occurred on the 108th hole at last year’s Qualifying School there is no hesitation. No reluctance. In fact, the memories flow with 1080p clarity.
“I was playing great. Hitting a little fade (off the tee) all week. I knew I was on the number (to earn a Tour card) and needed to make par,” Hahn recalled. “I got a little quick off the tee and hit into a bunker.”
From there Hahn admits he tried something new. “I had been watching the Golf Channel the night before and one of the instructors said to put the ball in the back of your stance to make solid contact. I normally play the ball in the front of my stance but wanted to make sure I got it on the green,” he said.
What followed has made Hahn something of a Q-School urban legend. He pushed his approach shot 80 feet right of the pin, left his first putt 6 feet short. He missed his par putt and “something happened” from 1 ½ feet for bogey and he signed for a double bogey-6.
But if Hahn, one of 166 players set to begin play Wednesday at Orange Country National outside Orlando, Fla., is haunted by his miscue he hides it well.
“There’s always going to be, ‘What could have been,’” said Hahn, who also failed to crack the top 25 in Nationwide Tour earnings when he faded to a closing 77 at last month’s Nationwide Tour Championship. “It’s not going to be the last time I get burned.”