Hahn's Hoping History Repeats Itself
Byline: Joe Aguilar firstname.lastname@example.org
Surrounded by small flowers, a large stone sits by Skokie Country Club's 18th tee box and stops golfers in their soft spikes.
The stone rocks, so to speak, with history. It notes the great Gene Sarazen's one-stroke victory over Bobby Jones and John Black in the 1922 U.S. Open. Sarazen was just 20 years old and beginning an amazing career that would include winning all four of golf's majors, inventing the sand wedge and recording a hole-in-one in the British Open at Royal Troon -- at age 71.
" 'The Squire' managed this hole in 4 strokes ..." the rock reads of Sarazen's birdie on No. 18.
"That enough lets you know that this is really a championship venue," a wide-eyed John Hahn said. "It's going to be very, very difficult."
Starting Tuesday, Hahn, an incoming senior at Kent State University, seeks to successfully defend his championship in the 108th Western Amateur, which last summer was played at Conway Farms in Lake Forest.
Skokie Country Club, which is actually located in Glencoe, has been around since 1897. Tree-lined with challenging greens and formidable par-3s, the original nine-hole course transitioned to 18 holes in 1914 and was laid out by legendary golf course architect Donald Ross. Ron Prichard renovated the course in 2000.
It is listed among Golfweek Magazine's top 100 classic courses.
"Skokie is a wonderful venue," Hahn said. "It's very challenging. The greens are really great."
The Western Am's format separates itself from other tournaments, as four rounds of stroke play are followed by four rounds of match play. …