June 14, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Former Cal golfers James Hahn and Charlie Wi began 2012 U.S. Open action Thursday at The Olympic Club. After the first 18 holes of the 72-hole event at the par-70, 7,170-yard course, Hahn is tied for 40th following a three-over par opening round 73, while Wi is tied for 52nd after a four-over 74. Michael Thompson shot an opening-round four-under 66 and is the first-round leader by three strokes over five others including Tiger Woods.
Hahn, who started on the ninth tee, was alone in second place after his first 12 holes following a birdie on the par-four second. But a bogey on the par-three third and back-to-back double bogeys on the par-four fifth and sixth holes catapulted him 39 spots down the leader board by the end of the first round. The Bay Area native who played for the Golden Bears from 1999-2001 got off to a fast start, recording three birdies and a bogey over his first six holes to quickly get to two-under. He had the first of his four birdies on the par-four 10th, bogeyed the par-four 11th but then fired back-to-back birdies on the par-four 14th and par-three 15th. A bogey on the par-five 16th dropped him back to one-under.
Wi played his final 12 holes in one-under par after being five-over through six. His day started with a bogey on the par-four first hole and his front nine also included four consecutive bogeys beginning with the par-three third and continuing on the par-four fourth, fifth and sixth holes. Wi put up his first red number with a birdie on the ninth and added another on the 14th, both par-fours. He gave one stroke back with a bogey on the par-four 18th.
Hahn qualified for his first U.S. Open in amazing fashion by winning a sectional qualifier in Daly City on June 4. After recording his first career victory on the Nationwide Tour by capturing The Rex Hospital Open on the second playoff hole the previous day in Raleigh, N.C. Hahn took a cross-country late-night flight back to the Bay Area for a 7 a.m. PT tee time at Lake Merced Country Club. He promptly fired a six-under par round of 66 and then followed that with a solid two-under par round of 70 at TPC Harding Park for a 36-hole eight-under par total of 136 that was enough for a one-stroke victory and a spot in the U.S. Open. Hahn, who has never played in a PGA Tour event, was named the Nationwide Tour Player of the Month for May 2012.
Wi qualified for his second career U.S. Open by winning a sectional qualifier June 4 in Columbus, Ohio. He shot a nine-under par 36-hole total of 132, carding a six-under par 65 on his first 18 holes at the OSU Scarlett Course before coming back with a three-under par 67 over his second 18 at the Scioto Country Club. Wi has five career second-place finishes on the PGA Tour, most recently at the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February. He was a first-team All-American in 1994-95 and the 1995 Pac-10 individual champion while at Cal.
The 2012 U.S. Open, one of professional golf's four annual major championships, will continue through Sunday, June 17. Wi starts his second round Friday from the ninth tee at 7:22 a.m. PT, while Hahn gets underway from the first tee at 9:16 a.m. Both will play in the same threesomes they did during Thursday's first round that have Wi grouped with Nicolas Colsaerts and Simon Dyson, while Hahn's playing partners are Darron Stiles and Roberto Castro.