REUNION, Fla. – For those wondering what kind of player gets recruited by a national championship team, look no further than Aurora Kan. The petite player from Boothwyn, Pa., may be soft-spoken, but with a swing like a metronome, she’s hard to ignore.
Kan, who will join the Purdue roster next fall, cruised to a 5-over 77 Saturday at the Golfweek Junior Invitational at Reunion Resort, keeping her sunglasses on, her hat pulled low and her emotions in check as a swirling wind knocked many of her opponents off course. Kan repeatedly hit fairways and greens, and birdied her final two holes to climb the leaderboard.
In Kan’s words, if there is any criticism of her game it’s that she can sometimes psych herself up too much. Saturday at Reunion, she stayed calm despite a string of early bogeys. By her fourth hole, Kan had settled into a rhythm off the tee, and managed to get it up and down when she couldn’t hit the greens.
“My driver is pretty consistent and usually my iron game is pretty consistent but that was off today,” she said. “I was able to get up and down on most of them but I kind of gave up some strokes there but today my attitude was just awesome. I was able to keep calm and just enjoy the day.”
If her name doesn’t sound all that familiar, it’s because Kan maintains a limited travel schedule to stay on budget. She carefully reviews her summer schedule, and upped her tournaments this year, resulting in her first win on the AJGA circuit at the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior. That victory was complimented by wins at a Junior PGA event at Penn State and the Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur.
Despite her budget, Kan realizes she has a responsibility to attend an invitational when an offer is extended, which is just one of many statements that emerge thoughtfully from Kan’s mouth, showing a level of maturity beyond her 16 years. It’s why, as much as Kan is looking forward to four years in a setting like Purdue, the Boilermakers are just as lucky to add her level head and easy swing to the lineup. In the end, even though Kan won’t manage to escape the cold climate of her native Pennsylvania, she’s found something far more important in West Lafayette, Ind.
“They won the NCAAs this year and that really proved to me that you don’t have to be in a warmer climate,” she said. “You’re not going to play in sunny warm weather all the time in tournaments – like today, it’s going to be cold. I learned a lot about their attitude when I went there on my visit. I think that’s more important than warmer weather.”