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September 19 2012

6:05 PM

Huh caps stellar rookie year in Atlanta

Interview: John Huh

John Huh meets with the media and talks about keeping his goals in his first TOUR Championship start.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

ATLANTA -- A year ago, John Huh watched the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola on TV.

He was playing in a tournament in Korea. Huh distinctly remembers what he calls simply "the shot" as Bill Haas got up and down from the water hazard beside the 17th green on the way to that dynamic dual victory in the TOUR Championship and FedExCup.

How times have changed. On Thursday, the 22-year-old Huh will tee it up at East Lake for the first time, capping a stellar rookie season that saw him win the Mayakoba Golf Classic in an eight-hole playoff over Robert Allenby and tie for second at the Valero Texas Open.

Huh has a total of four top-10s and enters his first TOUR Championship ranked 26th in the FedExCup -- just one shot lower than where Haas was a year ago.

"I feel really lucky to be here, especially as a rookie, and only top 30 to compete this week," Huh said. “… And the fact that Bill Haas was the 25th last year and he won the tournament and the FedEx, I believe I still have a chance. …

“But I need a little help from the guys in the top. So I'm just going to do my best and see what's going on."

Huh, who was born in New York and spent his youth in Korea, Chicago and Los Angeles, had modest goals for his rookie campaign on TOUR.

"Before I started the season, I told myself I want to just play a weekend, which is not easy to do that on the PGA TOUR, making the cut and playing a weekend, and being in contention," Huh said. "That was my goal before the season started, and it changed a little bit in the middle of the year.”

That's because Huh broke through in his sixth start on TOUR and nearly picked up another victory in Texas where he opened with a 44 but shot par or better on his next 45 holes to get in contention. Huh had a chip for birdie on the 72nd hole there that could have landed him in his second playoff.

He won’t have to worry about a cut this week at East Lake. But Huh will need to stay focused over all 72 holes against the elite field of 30. 

"Some tournaments I feel like I've been too aggressive because of changing my goal a little, but I think I should just stay where I'm at right now and just feel like I play the weekend first and play good and finish well," Huh said.

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