Wisconsin Badgers golfer Jordan Hahn carries confidence boost into senior season

September 8, 2018

In the last 18 months, University of Wisconsin golfer Jordan Hahn has heard a lot from Badgers coach Michael Burcin about how his focus should be on the process, not the results.

It’s a valuable bit of advice for someone with hopes for a long career in golf.

But both Hahn and Burcin now can admit that, even in the best process mindset, it’s only human to want to win.

Hahn did that this summer, winning the Illinois State Amateur in his home state to help launch himself into what the Badgers hope will be a memorable senior season.

That starts Sunday when UW hosts the 12-team, three-day Badger Invitational at University Ridge Golf Course.

It’s a venue where Hahn can shoot for the top spot while maintaining the long view of steady improvement.

The 108th-ranked American in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and 282nd overall, Hahn won the Illinois State Amateur by one shot in July, one year after losing a final-round lead in the event.

“It was my first win in a while, so it was definitely a big momentum builder for myself, a confidence boost,” he said. “Just kind of that reassurance that you need in golf.”

Hahn also posted second-place and third-place finishes in amateur events over the summer, a sign of the kind of company he may be keeping with the Badgers this season.

Burcin said the change that he has seen in Hahn going back to the summer of 2017 was a comfort level in being near the top of the leader board alongside the best players in the country.

“He’s very comfortable in his own skin right now,” Burcin said. “He’s very comfortable being in contention.”

Hahn, who has been fine-tuning a short game to bolster his 325-yard length off the tee, leads a Badgers lineup that Burcin said is the deepest in his eight seasons with the school.

Sophomore Griffin Barela took third at the Colorado Amateur Championship last month. Sam Anderson, a sophomore from Stoughton, finished in the top 10 in Wisconsin’s match play and amateur championships this year.

The Badgers finished 10th of 14 teams at last season’s Big Ten Conference championship, where Hahn tied for 10th individually.

Hahn’s average score of 73.35 last season marked his second time cracking the Badgers’ all-time top seven. He’s also third with a 72.77 average from 2016-17.

His career average of 73.6 is third in team history.

Burcin said some players encounter a fear of taking the risks needed to elevate themselves to the level where golf can be a career after college. Hahn hasn’t shied away.

It doesn’t hurt that, at 6-foot-8, Hahn has a physical advantage that helps him with distance.

“And then mentally, he’s not afraid to commit to the things that you have to do to be elite,” Hahn said. “Whether it be physical or diet, or really dissecting his game. It takes a level of honesty with yourself.”

Hahn said he’s committed to taking things as they come in his golf pursuits.

“It’s one step at a time,” he said. “We’ve got a goal to accomplish this week, and we’ll think about stuff after that once we accomplish that.”

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