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January 9, 2020

James Hahn

Honolulu, Hawaii

Q. Some tough conditions out there. Talk a little bit about your round.
JAMES HAHN: Yeah, you know, I played really smart today, I mean, in conditions like this. I grew up in -- on a windy golf course back in Oakland, Metropolitan Golf Links, so I would go out and grind it in 30 mile-per-hour weather, so this is something that I grew up playing. I know you cannot be aggressive, even on 5-footers. You have to take really smart lines, and I just gave myself the biggest margin for error.

That wind is pushing the ball. I think on the last hole probably pushed it 45, 50 yards in the air. You really just have to pick your lines and hit good shots and commit to it.

Q. How important is it for you coming off these injuries with the elbow and so forth to -- I guess it's not pressure at this point because you have several events -- but just to get off to a good start to the year, especially at a place where you almost won here?
JAMES HAHN: Right. I think it's the same amount of pressure as a first-time player, rookie on tour trying to keep his card. I'm in the same boat. I'm trying to keep my card for this year.

The way the medical breaks down is at the end of the year they have only keep 125 of us, and whether I keep my medical or don't keep my medical, I still want to be inside that 125. The way I can explain it to you -- it's a long story -- but the gist of it is I can fulfill my medical obligations and still lose my card and be in the same boat as someone who just lost their card.

Q. How can that happen?
JAMES HAHN: Yeah, I know. So we can sit down and have some pineapple juice if you really want to know.

Q. I actually do.
JAMES HAHN: Yeah. So for me, my focus is I want to be inside the Top 125 by the end of the year, so that way I have a job for next year.

Q. So it's more about this than worrying about the medical?
JAMES HAHN: 100%, 100%. I ran the math on it, and if I make my 17th medical start Travelers Championship, then I would maybe be guaranteed three more starts, which would be the The John Deere, The Reno-Tahoe, and The Barbasol because of my past champion status.

So pretty much be 20 tournaments for the season, and hopefully I can lock it up by then. The rest is no guarantees. So I'm counting on keeping my card within the first 20 tournaments that I play, otherwise I'm on the same boat as everybody else.

Q. How do you like the golf course? Like you said, runner-up here a couple years ago. What is it about this?
JAMES HAHN: I just love Hawaii. I remember like it was yesterday my rookie year on TOUR. I think this was my first tournament of the year. Was it back before the wrap-around season I think? Because we had a short season that year, and I think this was my first tournament of the year.

I'm like, How cool is it that I'm in Hawaii, I've got my PGA Tour card? I was a lot younger back then. For me, it's just good memories, a constant reminder that we are very blessed to play golf for a living, whether you're playing in 30 mile-per-hour winds, and there are a lot of kids out here that look up to us so we have to be on our best behavior and pretend like we're having fun even though sometimes we're not.

Q. Can you just briefly explain the issue you had healthy-wise?
JAMES HAHN: Yeah, so late last year, early -- I'm sorry, late 2018 early 2019 I had some inflammation in my forearm as well as my triceps tendon; I played through it.

Really flared up in San Diego; I played through it.

Flared up more at Pebble and then I just fought through it. I was like, You know what? I make a lot of my points in those west coast tournaments, so for me it was like whether I'm 90%, 80%, or 50%, I need to play those events. So tried to play through it.

Got an ultrasound the week of Phoenix back home and doctor said I really couldn't do any more damage to it and just keep playing. So I played Phoenix. Tried to tee it up at the Waste Management Phoenix Open -- I'm sorry, getting my tournaments mixed up -- the Genesis Open, and remember being on the practice range and it's freezing. Dustin Johnson is hitting balls behind me. I'm probably 60% at that point. I was just like, I can't compete. Even on a course like that I can't not compete being 100%.

Withdrew from that tournament, flew home, got an MRI, and it showed you had a partial tear to my triceps tendon. What I was doing is making worse.

Q. Good second opinion, right?
JAMES HAHN: Yeah, the ultrasound after the fact didn't even show the partial tear, so what I should have done in the beginning is just gotten an MRI. That will show everything.

The doctor, I'm not going to fault him for that, but saying something like, You can't make it any worse when in reality I was making it worse, and good thing I stopped at that point otherwise it could have been a complete tear.

It was good decision for me not to play, and looking being back on it, it was probably one of the best summers that I've had not touching a golf club and being able to hang out with my family. My daughter is four years old, so a lot of memories there you can't take back.

Probably a blessing in disguise.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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