Hahn, Hicks hoping to close out year with win at finale

October 27, 2012
Bill Nichols, PGATOUR.COM Contributor

MCKINNEY, Texas -- James Hahn's quest for perfection was interrupted by a fly on Saturday at the Web.com Tour Championship.


The little insect made a big impact on Hahn's third round. Instead of finishing Saturday's play with the outright lead, he is tied with Justin Hicks at 12-under 201.

Hahn and Hicks enter the final round two strokes clear of Justin Bolli and three ahead of Michael Putnam. Cliff Kresge, Luke Guthrie and Russell Henley are tied for fifth, four strokes back.

With calm conditions replacing Friday's 30 mph wind, the TPC Craig Ranch invited low scores. Thirty-seven players shot under par 71. Only 18 shot over par.

Hahn shot 7-under 64, low round of the week. And he was disappointed.

"I don't feel like I've played my best golf yet,'' he said. "Today was good but I left a lot out there.''

Even so, Hahn hit 15 greens and took only 26 putts while making eight birdies and one bogey.

Did we mention that he shot the low round of the week?

"To me it really doesn't matter what anybody else does,'' Hahn said. "It could be the best round of the week, the best round of the year, a course record, but we just went through the scorecard. A 58 would've been a perfect round, so I feel like I shot 6-over -- 6-over!''

Hahn already had three birdies when he stuck his peg in the ground on the par-5 No. 5. That's when a fly "the size of a dime'' hovered over his ball.

"I tried to shoo it away, but it came back,'' Hahn said. "I tried to shoo it away again, and it came back. I picked up my ball and blew on it and reset. Right on my backswing, the fly's right over my ball.''

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Hahn's ball flew left into the hazard. He made bogey on a reachable par-5.

"See, that's a two-shot swing right there,'' he said.

Hicks was so relaxed, he seemed to have emerged from massage therapy when exiting the scoring trailer.

"Golf's a funny game and it reared its head on us a little bit and we hit a few squirrelly shots,'' he said. "But we did a good job with our short game to clean up some pars.''

Win or lose, Hicks will be celebrating on Sunday. It's his 38th birthday.

"I've got my family out. It's a good week regardless,'' he said. "We're just going to have fun with it and maybe we'll win a tournament.''

Hicks was tied for the lead after a first-round 65 and then took sole possession of first with a 69 in difficult conditions that included 30 mph winds.

Hicks tied for the lead

Following his third-round 67 at the Web.com Tour Championship 2012, Justin Hicks talks about being tied for the lead headed into round four.

Hicks and Hahn are already assured two of the 25 PGA TOUR cards that will be dealt on Sunday.

"I'm just trying to have a good day every day and if somebody catches me or passes me, so be it,'' Hicks said. "So far we've done a good job of staying out front and hopefully we have another good round.''

Hahn, 30, got his first Web.com Tour win in a playoff at The Rex Hospital Open in June. That night, he flew home to the Bay Area to play in a U.S. Open qualifier. He shot 66-70 to finish as co-medalist, but then missed the cut at Olympic Club.

His desire to win rivals his yearning for perfection.

"To be inside the top 25 and move up the ladder is a bonus but at the end of the day it's all about trophies,'' Hahn said."I believe that success is contagious and it would be nice to take home some hardware, some silverware or whatever ware it is this week and just build on it.''