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Huh Feels 'Awesome' After First Win
John Huh had to work overtime to log his first triumph on the PGA Tour. Making only his fifth start, the 21-year-old rookie survived eight sudden-death playoff holes with veteran Robert Allenby to win the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Huh showed promise earlier in the season when he hovered near the top of the leaderboard in the Farmers Insurance Open, where he ended up tied for sixth. With his maiden win, he earned $666,000 and 250 FedEx Cup points.
Born in New York City and now a resident of Los Angeles, Huh played overseas for three years on the Korean Tour and OneAsia Tour. After finishing T27 at the Q-School, the player with the intriguing onomatopoeic name has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the charts on the PGA Tour.
On Sunday at the El Cameleon course in Riviera Maya, Mexico, Huh was helped by Allenby, who closed with a double-bogey on the par-4 18th to drop into a tie with Huh at 13-under 271. The two players went back and forth between the par-3 10th hole and the 18th in the playoff, the second longest in Tour history. Finally, Huh ended the proceedings with a birdie - to the Aussie's par - on the 18th.
Afterward, Huh sat down with reporters for the following Q&A session. Here's what he had to say.
MODERATOR: Welcome our 2012 Mayakoba Golf Classic champion, John Huh to the media center. John, congratulations. Your first PGA Tour win in just your fifth start. How did that feel?
JOHN HUH: I mean I couldn't put it into words. I mean it's amazing, you know. I can't believe it happened right now. It's my rookie year, especially, and playing in my fifth event on the PGA Tour, and I just couldn't put it in words.
MODERATOR: Could you take us through that playoff? I know it was a long playoff, eight holes. How were the emotions there going back and forth and making putts and then finally making that putt to win?
JOHN HUH: I mean definitely there's no doubt that I had a nerve. I mean it was nervous, especially when you're playing out there against Robert Allenby, and it's been tough. Playing eight hole playoff is long holes, and I was definitely nervous and trying to calm down myself, but it was hard.
MODERATOR: Talk about the last playoff hole. You had the chip from the rough there. And how long was the chip? How did you play that? How long was your putt to win.
JOHN HUH: After I saw Robert's shot and kind of knew it went right, but I wasn't sure. So I was looking more left and kind of pushed it and gave myself another 12, 13 yard chip shot, and I had a 58 in my hand and tried to bump and run it. And I had two feet and a half and made it.
MODERATOR: What does it mean to you to win your first PGA Tour event?
JOHN HUH: I mean it's really hard to explain this. It's major. I mean it was my dream, you know, playing this event and playing on the Tour and finally winning a tournament, it's awesome. I mean there is nothing I can say anything about.
Q. (Inaudible). As a fellow New Yorker, you make me proud.
JOHN HUH: Thank you.
Q. What was interesting is that all three of your (indiscernible). It seems at one point or another on 18 you blocked a shot over to the right, and that's somewhat of a problem. What was it about that 18th hole that kind of swerved to the right and then went to the left and went into the sand trap?
JOHN HUH: Are you talking about the first playoff?
Q. 18 in general. The 18 because of double bogey on the 18th. Chris Stroud was almost catching up, same thing there, double bogey on the 18, same thing. And I noticed when you talk about the other holes, you also pushed over to the right.
JOHN HUH: I think it was the first round, first hole we played, and yeah, it was definitely nerves. I pushed that one and blocked it and it went right. And it was right over the rock, and just couldn't move anything. So I was like give myself a good chance to make a par, and hit it really solid with a 6 iron and got on the green and two putted and went to the next hole.
Q. (Inaudible). (Question in Spanish). What did you think after the last six shots? Because all of us were thinking it was going in.
JOHN HUH: Oh, the par 3? I mean definitely I had nerves over there, and I knew I gotta make the putt to win, but it's nerves. I mean it was tough to take it, but I know if I don't make par and Robert has to make birdie, so I was trying to just make par, possibly I can, and the last one I did it. So I won the tournament.
Q. (Question in Spanish)?
MODERATOR: Yeah, there's a lot going on with your win today. Are you aware that you are now one of the youngest players to ever win on Tour? You are also part of one of the longest playoffs in the PGA Tour and you're also tied or beat the record for most come from behind victories. What does that all mean to you?
JOHN HUH: You know, I mean before I teed off, all I think about is making a cut. It's a rookie move. I mean I'm trying to make a cut and playing weekend. I didn't really have high expectations. It was different today, but this win means a lot. I mean it's my fifth event. I wasn't really looking at playing this well, but fortunately, Robert missed on the last hole, so it went into playoff.
Q. I got the impression that today there was a little less wind than the first three days and it led to a number of pretty good scores. I think 8 unders and 7 unders and so on. Did you feel different in terms of the wind today compared to the first three days?
JOHN HUH: Yeah. Definitely the wind was different than the past three rounds, so I was trying to take advantage of that. And I think I did really well that. And all the guys did it, but I was on top of it.
Q. Can you comment on all the people who were following you at the last hole? How do you feel that?
JOHN HUH: I mean I was pleased with the crowd and all the sponsors at this event. We had an eight hole playoff and they still stayed there, you know, tried to watch us, tried to -
Q. All the people from Mexico are supporting you. Really, some guys don't understand how to pronounce your last name, but all the people who asked to be with you. I think you may not understand that, but all the crowd likes you. Did you feel that?
JOHN HUH: Yeah, I mean I was trying to bring my last name, which is Huh, and all the guys and all the crowd were trying to call that name, and it's fun to hear that, and I'm really looking forward to every event next year, too.
MODERATOR: All right, John Huh, congratulations on your first PGA Tour win.
JOHN HUH: Thank you.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.