When Richmond-Burton boys golf coach Brad Tichenor is asked about Rockets junior golfer Jordan Hahn, it doesn’t take long before the coach recalls a moment that is still fresh in his mind.
“It’s the 18th hole of the second day of the state finals,” Tichenor starts. “[Hahn] misses a 4- or 5-foot putt and bogeys the hole. After signing his card, instead of hanging around and talking with the other golfers, he went over to the practice green and starts putting from 4 or 5 feet.
“That’s the type of kid he is. He wants to achieve success at whatever level he can. It’s the last round of the season. I know a lot of kids that age finish their round and are done.”
Hahn walked over to the practice green, even as the season was over, because he knows from experience what a missed putt can mean and the importance of one stroke. Hahn saw his personal goals extinguished when he missed out on qualifying for state by one stroke each of the past two years.
So at the start of the 2013 golf season, Tichenor noticed a difference in Hahn’s attitude and demeanor. Though always dedicated and hardworking, this season was different. Hahn was tired of coming so close to his goals only to come up short.
“When I first saw him this season he looked different,” Tichenor said. “His approach to the game, it was positive and he had a chip on his shoulder and it wasn’t a negative chip. It was going to drive him and he did it this year.”
The Rockets junior entered every round with the thought that he was going to win and he did. Hahn earned medalist honors in nearly every head-to-head match and set a course record at Beaver Creek with a nine-hole round of 29. He was also just a stroke or two away from setting several tournament records.
The Wisconsin recruit didn’t slow down in the postseason. He won his regional with an even-par-72 and, less than a week later, shot a 74 at sectionals, qualifying for state by four strokes.
Hahn made the most of his two rounds at state in Normal as all of the pressure of qualifying had been lifted. He found himself in ninth place and seven shots off the lead after the first day but shot an even-par-71 during the second round, bolstered by five birdies, which earned him a third-place finish in the Class 2A state tournament.
For his accomplishments, Hahn is the Northwest Herald Boys Golfer of the Year as selected by the sports staff with input from area coaches.
Hahn had the best finish at state by any area golfer and credits his strong performance at the tournament to his ability to overcome tough situations which helped him get over the mental hurdle of coming up one stroke short during his first two high school seasons.
“I’ve built that up over time, the ability to let things go,” Hahn said. “It has been a big help to my game to have that ability to move on. You just have to realize that if you keep things in your head it will compound and end up hurting you.”