PGA Tour rookie James Hahn and second-year player Roberto Castro share a one-shot lead over three golfers entering today's third round of the $5.6 million Humana Challenge.
Hahn and Castro began Friday's second round tied for the lead with Jason Kokrak, then both shot five-under-par 67s to go to 14-under-par 130 for the tournament.
Kokrak dropped into a nine-way tie for sixth at 12-under-par 132, two shots behind the leaders, after a three-under-par 69 at the Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West.
Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, is also tied for sixth after shooting a six-under-par 66 at La Quinta Country Club.
Richard H. Lee, Scott Stallings and Darron Stiles are tied for third at 13-under-par 131.
Castro began his round at the Palmer Private Course at PGA West playing the back nine, birdieing the 12th, 13th, 16th, 18th, second, fourth and sixth holes, then had his first bogey on the seventh hole and his second two holes later when he missed a 6-foot, 10-inch putt for a par.
"I played well all day," the 27-year-old Castro said. "Some nice up- and-downs on the par-5s for birdies, a couple slipped away there at the end."
Castro said he made a 50-foot putt on the 18th hole Thursday, but on Friday, "I felt like I hit a good putt and 3-putted. That's stuff over 72 holes that's going to even out."
Hahn began his round at La Quinta County Club playing the back nine, birdieing the 11th and 13th holes, but had his first bogey of the tournament on the 16th. He had birdies on the fourth and sixth holes, sandwiched around an eagle on the fifth.
"It was a good day," Hahn said. "Started off slow, hit some good shots on the front nine of the course."
Hahn said the course has "a lot more trees on it" and more bunkers surrounding the greens than the Palmer Private Course at PGA West he shot a nine-under-par 63 Thursday "so I had to think about my ... shot selection more."
Hahn said he is very surprised to be in the position he is in.
"I'm just soaking it in, having a good time," said Hahn, who is playing in his third PGA Tour event. He tied for 67th in last week's Sony Open and missed the cut in the 2012 U.S. Open.
Hahn was born in Seoul, South Korea, and told reporters Friday he moved to the U.S. with his family when he was 2 years old and began playing golf when he was 4.
Hahn said his father owned a driving range in Oakland and he became a "driving range rat... just hitting balls on the range, very rarely playing on the golf course."
Hahn described his college career at California as "nothing to be proud of."
After playing as a freshman when the Golden Bears qualified for the NCAA Tournament, Hahn said he "played maybe four events as a sophomore."
"Let's just say extracurricular activities got in the way," Hahn said. "I remember going into the coach's office and had a discussion. It was more of me just listening to him talk about how much he didn't want me on the team.
"(I) sat on the bench my junior year and then it got to a point where it was over at that point and I decided to quit my college golf team my senior year, which I regret to this day."
Hahn said he spent the "next four years just walking around with a chip on my shoulder because they ended up winning the NCAAs the year after I graduated."
"The running joke was they finally had to kick James off the team to win a championship," Hahn said. "It actually hurt a lot."
Hahn turned professional in 2003 and said his first year playing professionally, "didn't go so well." He quit the sport "for a solid year, got back into it and made a commitment to myself that hard work can overcome."
"I wasn't doing anything right really the first couple years, but eventually I figured it out," said Hahn, who played on the Korean, Pepsi, California Players and Canadian Tours and earned his PGA Tour card by finishing fifth on the Web.com Tour money list in 2012.
"Just going through trial and error is pretty much how I learned to play professionally."
--City News Service