Vanderbilt freshman plays like seasoned veteran at NCAA golf championships

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 8:35pm
Staff reports

Jenny Hahn’s freshman year at Vanderbilt officially ended two weeks ago with the conclusion of the spring semester.

Since then she has golfed like it is a new season. 

After tying for 10th in the NCAA West Regional, Hahn continues to post low numbers. After two rounds at the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., she is in third place, just two strokes behind the leader.

On Wednesday, she shot a career-best 67 to match the lowest postseason round in program history.

Through two rounds, Hahn has carded a six-under 138. Only Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow (-8) and USC’s Annie Park (-7) have played better through the halfway point.

“I was really comfortable all day,” Hahn said.  “After my first birdie putt, I felt like I was on a roll, and was making everything after that. I hit the ball a lot better [Wednesday] than I did [Tuesday], and I had a lot more looks at birdie.  I haven't added it up, but I’m pretty sure I had under 30 putts [Wednesday].  I believe it was 26 or 27.  The last three holes I one-putted, which was pretty good.”

Hahn, an 18-year-old from Henderson, Nev., made up for two bogeys with seven birdies.

Her 67 was the lowest postseason round by a Vanderbilt golfer since Jacqui Concolino posted the same score in a 2007 Regional. On Tuesday, Hahn tied the best opening NCAA Championship round by a Commodore when she shot a 71 to finish day one in a tie for sixth place.

Hahn entered the tournament with the team’s third-best stroke average (74.9). She has posted just two top 10-finishes this year – at the Regional two weeks ago and a third-place finish in March in Augusta, Ga.

“I’m not really going to change much for [Thursday],” Hahn said. “Just stay relaxed and take it one day at a time. This day is over, so [Thursday] is a new day. Just stay relaxed and not get ahead of myself.”

As a team, Vanderbilt fared much better on Wednesday by shooting one-over par 289 to move into a tie for 10th when play was suspended because of weather. A few players were still on the course at the time ply was halted.

On Tuesday, The sixth-ranked Commodores shot 11-over par to tie for 15th after the first round. But they rebounded in the second round with the third-best score by teams in the morning wave.

Irina Gabasa shot a par-72 to move into a tie for 29th. Kendall Martindale and Lauren Stratton each carded a three-over 75 and were tied for 91st.