Farmers Insurance Open

Torrey Pines (South and North)


Joel Dahmen watches good friend win his first PGA Tour title, and feels he's close to doing the same


Icon Sportswire

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Joel Dahmen was tied for the lead with 10 holes to go Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship, searching for a career-defining first PGA Tour title, when he drove into a fairway bunker and made bogey. He added another two holes later and never challenged good friend Max Homa again. Yet he hardly walked away from Quail Hollow Club empty-handed on Sunday.

In the short run, he managed to get up and down from a difficult spot in the rough left of the creek on the 18th hole, a par that was worth an additional six-figure payout ($158,000) as he finished solo second and earned the full $853,200 runner-up check.

“My caddie wanted me to play it safe [with my approach shot], but I thought if I snuck a 3 in there and Max hit it in the lake, I could come back around,” Dahmen said of his play on 18. “He’s over here laughing at me. I had such a huge break [that the second shot got a good lie] and actually it’s a pretty easy chip there. But I was certainly aware of what was at stake, absolutely. I mean this was my biggest paycheck by $500,000 maybe. I mean, it’s ridiculous what I just won today, absolutely ridiculous.”

Indeed, his previous largest pay day $382,800 for finishing T-2 at last year’s John Deere Classic.

In the bigger picture, though, is the psychological boost the event provided the comedic 31-year-old, who along with Homa, ranks among the top followers on Twitter, going forward. The runner-up finish, which was his seventh top-25 showing in 19 starts this season, vaulted the former University of Washington golfer to 29th in the FedEx Cup standings and assures him a spot in the playoffs for a second straight year. It’s also another building block.

When asked earlier in the week about pressure, Dahmen referenced this year’s Players Championship, where he tied for 12th after a par-par finish for another big payday.

“[Max] deserves to win,” Dahmen said Sunday night. “But I didn’t beat myself today, which was my whole goal. Could have made another birdie in there and a couple tee balls kind of went awry and a couple putts didn’t drop, but that’s golf.

"The next time they might and maybe I’ll be in Max’s spot.”