PEBBLE BEACH, California (AFP) - James Hahn, a Korean-American rookie on the United States (US) PGA Tour, has become a YouTube hit ahead of the Pebble Beach National Pro Am after his Gangnam-style celebration dance of a Sunday birdie.
The 31-year-old born in Seoul fired a final-round 62 to share 16th last week at Phoenix but his birdie dance at the 16th, a grandstand-surrounded hole where rowdy spectators cheer and boo the results of tee shots, stole the show.
"I can't believe that I did that," Hahn said. "I was having so much fun.
"It's a unique venue. I've never heard anything like that before. And to be embraced by the crowd - they actually gave me a nickname, they called me the Asian Brad Pitt. I can't make this stuff up.
"It was fun to be a part of the environment, the experience. On Saturday, made double-bogey and I got booed for the first time and I actually loved it.
To come back out and birdie it on Sunday, that was what dreams are made of."
Hahn, a former golfer at nearby University of California, has spectators in this week's event looking for some dance moves. But he's content with just having the notoriety as a way to make his first PGA season a bit less intense.
"Yeah, they want the dance. It's bringing the fun back into golf, especially me being a rookie," Hahn said. "It gives me a little breathing room, an ice breaker for me."
After Hahn's 20-foot birdie at Phoenix's 16th in the final round, he adopted the moves made famous by Korean performer Psy, whose Gangnam-style video took him from YouTube sensation to global superstar.
So what's it going to take this week to spark more dance moves by Hahn?
"I might do something, a little fist-pump here and there, but I think now that the bar has been set so high," Hahn said. "Maybe a winning putt on 18 might do a little something."
Defending champion Phil Mickelson, coming off a victory last week in Phoenix, figures to be a favorite when the Pro-Am tees off on Thursday.
The US left-hander, a three-time Masters champion, has won the event four times and is the all-time leading money winner at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where he was fourth in the 2010 US Open.
Brandt Snedeker, who won last year's PGA playoff crown, has been runner-up for each of the past two weeks while fellow American Dustin Johnson, the 209 and 2010 Pebble Beach winner, also figures to be in the hunt.