SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — There was a lot of good in Jordan Hahn's round Friday, but the University of Wisconsin golfer knows he'll have to eliminate the bad to close out a victory at the 103rd Southwestern Amateur.
The senior-to-be from Spring Grove, Illinois made seven birdies in a 3-under-par 67 that left him with a share of the lead with Wells Padgett of Wichita, Kansas, after 54 holes of the 72-hole event on the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain Club. Hahn (66-67-67) and Padgett (66-68-66) head into Saturday’s final round holding a two-shot lead over defending champion Jino Sohn of Honolulu (67-68-67-202).
Friday’s action was highlighted by a number of long putts holed and spectacular shots by all three of the leaders, and 23 sub-par rounds on the 6,889-yard Jack Nicklaus-designed layout. The field of 88 contestants played under mostly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 80s and variable winds.
Hahn birdied three out of his last four holes to shoot 32 on the backside in a round that was highlighted by three long putts measuring over 30 feet. After bogeying two of his first three holes, the lanky Badger made a 40-foot putt on the 470-yard fourth hole, a 30-footer on the 180-yard par-3 seventh, and a 35-footer on the 413-yard 16th hole to help propel him to a 3-under.
“It didn’t start out very pretty,” Hahn said after the round, ‘but my putting really saved me today. Seven birdies in the round provides me a lot of hope for tomorrow, but I also made four bogeys, so I really need to clean some things up on Saturday.”
Padgett’s round was highlighted by a spectacular birdie four on the par 5, 569-yard eighth hole. After driving the ball into the desert, he finally located it in a bush and proceeded to hit a seven iron back onto the fairway and then stuffed his approach shot to within five feet of the pin, and made the putt for “an easy four.”
He concluded his round with back-to-back birdies on the 225-yard par three 17th (hitting a six iron to two feet) and the 511-yard par five 18th.
“It was a pretty solid round of golf,” Padgett said. “The golf course really fits my eye and seems pretty wide open. I did miss a couple of short putts today that hopefully I can clean up tomorrow.”
Sohn, the defending champion, continued his steady play that extends back to last year. His third-round 67 marked his seventh consecutive round in the 60s on the Cochise Course dating back to the 2017 tournament.
“I really played very steady golf today,” Sohn said. “The conditions today were a little more challenging because of the wind, but I am very happy with the way that I played. I hit a lot of fairways and greens, and am looking forward to tomorrow’s final round.”
The tournament concludes Saturday morning with tee times beginning at 7:30 a.m. off the first and 10th holes on Desert Mountain's Cochise Course. Hahn, Padgett and Sohn tee off No. 1 at 9:36 a.m.