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Madison's Griffith to blaze his golf future at Vincennes
, Courier Sportswriter
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 10:00 AM
Madison golfer Jordan Griffith is a two-time Sectional, Hoosier Hills Conference and Regional champion. (Courier file photo)
FUTURE TRAILBLAZER: Madison golfer Jordan Griffith (seated, right) has signed to play golf at Vincennes University in the fall. Joining Griffith at the signing was his mother Tina Griffith (seated left), Madison coach Al Wilcox (standing, left) and Vincennes coach Dennis Chattin. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Jordan Griffith has proven himself a championship golfer so it is only fitting that the Madison senior will join a championship program next fall.
Madison's top golfer each of the last three years, Griffith announced on Friday that he will attend Vincennes University next fall. As a result, Griffith will get a chance to join a Trailblazer program that won the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III National Championship last fall.
"I had originally committed to Huntington in September but then coach (Dennis) Chattin called and I decided to visit," Griffith said. "I really liked the campus. I liked that it was a small school on a big campus and that's what I was looking for.
"Coach Chattin really knows how to recruit. I'm excited," Griffith added. "I have a golfing buddy on the team that I have played with a lot named Austin Leonard and it will be fun to butt heads with him for a couple of years."
Griffith has won nearly every championship there is to win in his three years at Madison. He claimed Hoosier Hills Conference titles in 2011 and 2012 before placing third last year and won the last two sectional titles with scores of 66 and 67, respectively. He has also won the last two regional crowns after placing third as a freshman.
The only trophy that's eluded Griffith so far is a state championship. After failing to make the cut in his first two tries, he finished sixth a year ago, five strokes back.
"I think that any high schooler's dream is to become a state champion," Griffith said. "It's going to be difficult because we've got two players in the state that are top 20 in the world for junior golf so it's going to be a challenge. But I think if I can get by the regional I can have a good chance if I play the kind of golf that I know that I can."
Chattin, who is in his 11th year running the golf program at Vincennes, obviously liked Griffith's talent. But the veteran coach looks at more than a player's ability to strike the ball when deciding who to recruit for the Trailblazers.
"We try to look for not only great players, which he obviously is, but great people as well," said Chattin, who was on hand for Griffith's signing. "When I took the position several years ago I said that we were going to play with good people, we're going to play good a golf course and good competition and then we're going to get the best talent that we can, in addition to that. He fits all of those bills, we think."
Griffith's high school coach, Al Wilcox, has had a chance to watch Griffith not only the last three years, but as a youngster growing up around Madison's Sunrise Golf Course. The Cub coach believes there are few players more prepared to make the jump to the next level.
"I think he's going to do fine. He'll have no problem at all," Wilcox said. "It all depends on how he adjusts to the competition. But based on his experience of playing in the tournaments he has played in, I think he'll be fine. He'll meet the challenge."
"He's one of those guys that just gets it done no matter what. He's going to find a way," Chattin said. "You can see that determination in players like that and he's one of those guys."
Vincennes is a two-year college and Chattin admitted that, for some, there is a stigma attached to junior colleges. But the coach said it's a reputation that is not earned.
"A lot of people don't realize how many guys played junior college golf," Chattin said. "Bubba Watson played at Faulkner State and we play against Faulkner State in Alabama. Bubba Watson, Brett Wetterich, Paul Azinger, Jeff Sluman, you can go on and on. I don't think a lot of people in Indiana understand just how many good players are playing junior college golf."
Griffith plans on majoring in general studies during his two-year stint at Vincennes. And although he will have to go through the recruiting process again in two years, he said he can put that aside and worry about it later.
For now, he's concentrating on finishing his senior season and beginning his college career this summer.
"I want to start off strong. I want to put myself out there and make a name for myself like I did in high school," Griffith said. "I just want to go out everyday in practice and try to get better and perform well in tournaments, if I qualify for them. It will be difficult sometimes but hopefully I can put myself out there and put the numbers up that I know I can and compete at the next level like I did in high school."
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