Anna Hack prepares for golf's biggest stage

06/29/2016 05:19 PM

UK women’s golfer Anna Hack followed two sports when she was growing up; football and tennis. Her Mom played Tennis in college and her uncle, Billy Jack Haskins, was a quarterback for the University of Kentucky in the 1990s. Hack was set on following in her mom’s footsteps, until one accident changed everything.

Hack was snowboarding in Colorado as a 12-year-old when she crashed and tore a muscle in her hip. She was told she couldn’t play tennis for six months. While trying to figure out how to stay active on one leg, she was approached by her neighbor.

“He took me out and got me a putter and said, ‘You can putt on crutches,’” Hack said.

A few months had passed by and Hack discovered she was beginning to love the game of golf. She decided to quit tennis and commit herself to becoming the best golfer she could be. Once she was healthy again, she began working on the rest of her game and had aspirations of playing golf at the collegiate level.

Anna Hack just completed her freshman season at the University of Kentucky and despite early struggles, she ended it on a strong note.

“She decided to get better. She decided that she wanted to compete and beat her teammates and beat other players and other teams around the country,” said UK women’s golf coach Golda Johansson Borst.

The Paducah native finished in the top-25 in two of the last three tournaments UK competed in, including a 14th place finish at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic and a 23rd place finish at the SEC championship.

The momentum from the end of the season propelled Hack to finish second in a U.S. Women’s Open sectional qualifier in St. Louis. The performance, including a tournament-low score of 69 during her second round, qualified her to compete in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open in San Martin, California on July 7-10.

Hack isn’t worried about her past struggles. Her focus is on what has gotten her this far.

“Consistency, just keeping the ball straight,” Hack said. “When I can do that, I know that I’m playing good. And then chipping and putting, I try to practice a lot and keep that good because you can always make up strokes on the putting green.”

Those strengths will help her, as she represents a university and a state that she loves.

“My Uncle played football for UK, so I always just wanted to play for my state. I feel like it means a lot more to me to be able to play for the state I grew up in and to be able to play for Coach Borst.”

Hack has a tough road ahead of her, competing against the best women’s golfers in the world, but Coach Borst knows that won’t stop her from giving her all.

“She’s just got a fire deep inside of her and when it’s lit, nothing is going to stop her.”

Clayton Abernathy

Clayton Abernathy is the producer for KSTV. A recent graduate from the University of Kentucky with a degree in journalism, Clayton covered UK sports throughout his four year college career for various radio and television stations, including an internship with KSTV last summer. He is passionate about UK sports, and loves to apply that passion to his work every day. He loves to eat, run, explore nature, jam with his buddies, and play basketball and golf on the weekends. You can follow Clayton on Twitter @Abernathy_cn2.

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