Weight: 180 lbs
Date of Birth: Nov. 2, 1981
Birthplace: Seoul, Korea
College: UC Berkeley
Turned Pro: 2003
Residence: Alameda, California
The Rex Hospital Open
James Hahn Talks about TravisMathew and Gangnam before Pebble Beach.
Video Courtesy of The PGATour
After his birdie on the 16th hole at the Waste Management stop in Phoenix, James Hahn gave the crowd something extra. It was embraced by the crowd and celebrated by the media. Check out the video below.
With a T4 at the Humana Challenge and an epic rendition of Gangnam Style on the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, James Hahn takes the title for the January 2013 Player of the Month!
TravisMathew team leading at Humana Challenge after round 2.
TravisMathew players competing in this weekends Humana Challenge. Follow their action on the PGA Tour site.
James Hahn, aka “The Asian Brad Pitt”, will fulfill his lifelong dream and play his first full season on the PGA Tour in 2013 and we are thrilled to be along for the ride.
Don’t let his good looks and quirky behavior fool you, James is geared up and ready to go!
“I’m just a kid from a small town with a big dream,” says Hahn, who grew up in Northern California just outside of Oakland. James fits in perfectly with our concept of having fun with everything that we do and he treats each moment as an opportunity.
We are looking forward to see what Brad…we mean James has in store for 2013!
TravisMathew team members Luke List and James Hahn secured their 2013 PGA Tour Cards last night finishing #4 and #5 on Web.com Tour Money List! For both, it will be their first taste of the PGA Tour and the realization of a life long dream! From all of us at TravisMathew, congratulations!
Web.com Tour president Bill Calfee, “On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I would like to congratulate these 25 terrific players who will launch their TOUR careers in January. It is a very strong group and has the potential to accomplish big things on the PGA TOUR, like any number of graduates before them have. This class prevailed over a long and very competitive season on the Web.com Tour. We look forward to following their progress as they seek to add to the PGA TOUR wins, major championships and the exciting performances their fellow alumni have produced over the years.”
James Hahn was discussing his golfing comeback with a reporter when a colleague interrupted behind the practice green at Fox Den Country Club on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s the Asian Brad Pitt,” the passing golfer said with a laugh. “That’s what they call him.”
Actually, I didn’t know that. But I could roll with it.
There are similarities — though Hahn, at 30, is considerably younger. He’s 6-foot-1, 180 pounds. Pitt is 5-11 ½ and could weigh anywhere between 160 and 200, depending on his role or Angelina Jolie’s mood.
While Hahn is a nice enough looking guy, I never noticed any females staring during the course of a 15-minute interview. And perhaps it should be noted that a woman didn’t give him the nickname.
“Travis Brasher called me that when we were doing a TravisMathew (golf apparel) photo shoot,” said an amused Hahn, who will tee off early this morning in the News Sentinel Open. “He said I reminded him of Brad Pitt the way I was modeling for them.
“I took it as a compliment.”
The nickname apparently hasn’t gone mainstream yet. When I Googled “Asian Brad Pitt and James Hahn,” all I got was a movie trailer featuring Pitt and James Gandolfini. If there’s an Asian in the movie, I didn’t find him.
Undaunted, I pushed onward in my research, which eventually strengthened the Pitt-Hahn connection.
For starters, both played high school golf. More compelling was their similar determination to stay afloat financially while pursuing their passion.
Pitt dropped out of college and drove an old Datsun from his native Oklahoma to California in search of a movie career. Money to his name: $325.
While waiting for his breakthrough as an actor, Pitt delivered refrigerators, worked as a chauffeur for Los Angeles strippers and wore a chicken suit on behalf of a fast-food restaurant, which obviously helped prepare him for his role in “12 Monkeys.”
Hahn, who is a native of Seoul, South Korea, graduated from the University of California in 2003, turned pro immediately, and went broke three months later.
Money to his name: “Like zero, zero” he said. “Like negative, broke.”
When he couldn’t get a sponsor, he got a job — several jobs, in fact. He worked for an advertising agency in his hometown of Alameda, Calif.; earned his realtor’s license; and sold shoes at Nordstrom. If he chauffeured strippers around the Bay Area, he didn’t tell me.
He saved up $8,000, which he deemed sufficient to re-launch a golfing career that began on the Korean Tour and continued on the Canadian Tour.
In 2008 on the Canadian Tour, his comeback was hardly flourishing. Money to his name: $288.
He was looking for jobs on Craigslist when he tied for eighth in the Edmonton Open. The next year, he won the same tournament. Let’s call it the career equivalent of Pitt’s hitchhiker role in “Thelma & Louise.”
“That really got me going,” said Hahn, who started on the Nationwide Tour in 2010.
Now, he’s doing even better while traveling in faster circles. You had to witness his U.S. Open venture two months ago to realize how fast.
He won the Rex Hospital Open in Raleigh, N.C., in a two-hole playoff before racing to the airport for his cross-country trip to San Francisco. He arrived in time for a Delta agent to tell him, “I don’t know if your clubs are going to make it.”
He wouldn’t have been more anxious if she had said, “The engine has been making a funny noise, but we’re going to give it a go anyway.”
Hahn’s trip worked out just fine, though.
The clubs made it, he got four hours sleep and proceeded to shoot 66-70 to win the sectional qualifier for the U.S. Open. He didn’t make the cut but made a lot of memories while adding to what has been a career year.
Forget Craigslist. Hahn is now sixth on the Web.com money list. The way he’s playing, he’s headed for the PGA Tour next year.
That could be the career equivalent of Brad Pitt’s first leading role, as a wayward fly fisherman in “A River Runs Through It.”
John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns
TravisMathew team members James Hahn and Kyle Thompson got together for a practice round at Olympic Tuesday afternoon. Both players will be competing in the 2012 US Open after earning spots in last week’s Monday qualifying. Going to be a fun week!