Cleveland Plain Dealer Off Campus Feature With Kent State golfer John Hahn
Thursday, April 30, 2009
By Elton Alexander
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Hahn, from Hudson, hopes to dodge the sophomore jinx after earning the Mid-American Conference's Freshman of the Year honor last year and helping lift Kent State to sixth place at the NCAA Tournament. A four-time MAC Golfer of the Week this season, Hahn has a MAC-best 72.4 per-round scoring average; and he finished tied for 14th or better in the past four tournaments.
Hahn is rated 58th in the nation in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, and has had 16 rounds of par or better this season, including 10 of his past 15. The Golden Flashes begin play today in the MAC Tournament Championship, hosted by Ball State at the Brickyard Crossing course on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
How is your second season compared with the first?
"I kind of got it going a bit right now, I'm playing OK. But you've heard the term 'sophomore blues.' I think I had a mild case of that, because expectations have been so high. But as of late I have been playing better. I definitely expect better play as the season wraps up."
Explain your case of the blues:
"I think I expected to begin exactly where I left off last season, without realizing I just had to work up to that level faster as a sophomore than as a freshman. It's funny, you end one season and without thinking you expect to begin the next season right there and get better. You expect everything to fall into place, no blips on the radar, instead of just working to put them into place and going on from there."
How did you fix it?
"I suddenly had a sense of calm come over me. Don't press for top-five and top-10 finishes. Let them come. Get back to basics. Since then, things have fallen into place. I guess experience finally set in."
Tell us something about golf we don't know:
"Something most folks don't know is, while it takes a little over four hours to play a round, you really only spend about two to three minutes physically hitting the golf ball. Hopefully, this doesn't make folks think golf is a waste of time, because it's not. Play golf, America!"
What's something folks don't know about you:
"I appreciate literature and enjoy writing poetry."
You have said LeBron James is part of your dream foursome.
"I would want LeBron James in my dream foursome because I have enjoyed watching LeBron play since he was in high school. I think he might end up being the best player in the history of the league, so I really try to never miss a game. It would be a great experience to be around someone like him who could probably teach me a lot about being a competitor and a winner.