As first one player and then another took the lead at the Northern Trust Open on Sunday, the story line kept changing. First it was an epic win for Retief Goosen, then a shocking fountain of youth moment for Vijay Singh, then a return to greatness for Dustin Johnson.
At the end, the story line was mainly, “Who?”
James Hahn, ranked 297th in the world heading into this week’s action, birdied from 25 feet out on the third playoff hole to defeat Johnson by a stroke and win the title, his first on tour.
After making his birdie, Hahn couldn’t watch as Johnson tried one from 12 feet out, missing it left to make the Cal grad $1.206 million richer.
The playoff pitted Hahn and Johnson against Paul Casey. All three men parred 18, but Casey dropped out when he couldn’t make his birdie putt on 10.
It looked like all three men would finish a stroke behind Sergio Garcia. He had a one stroke lead with two holes to go, but bogeyed 17 and 18 to miss the playoff altogether.
Jordan Spieth also looked like a shoe-in for the extra frame when he played aggressively on No. 18, nearly holing out from 50 feet away, only to miss a 6-foot putt for bogey to finish 5-under.
Goosen had led outright for two days, but couldn’t keep turning back the clock on Sunday. He was 1-under through 5 when the trouble started: a bogey on 7 and a double on 8 that saw him hit the turn at 2-over. He birdied No. 10, but fell apart dramatically as the hour grew late – a double on 13, then three straight bogeys. He managed to birdie 17 and 18 but still finished 4-over.
Sing took longer to fold, but fold he did. He was 3-under through 14 before a forgettable bogey, double bogey, bogey sequence to finish with a 1-over 72 on the day.