Nov. 16, 2013
MADISON, Wis. - Badger men's golf coach Michael Burcin will add four players to the UW men's golf roster next fall. Eddie Wajda of Brookfield, Wis., Johnny Decker of Verona, Wis., Michael Abrahamson of Chicago and Payton Taylor of Vero Beach, Fla., have all signed national letters of intent to attend the University of Wisconsin in 2014.
Eddie Wajda - Brookfield Central High School, Brookfield, Wis.
Eddie Wajda III is the No. 1 player in the State of Wisconsin and continues the trend set by Coach Burcin of keeping the No. 1 player in Wisconsin coming to UW-Madison. His parents are Ed and Leslie Wajda.
Eddie has had a stellar junior and amateur career which was capped this past summer by qualifying for the U.S. Amateur at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass. As a junior he finished in the top 10 in every event that he played and won the Greater Metro Conference (GNC) championship with a score of 72. Eddie was the player of the year in the GMC.
He was a medalist at six other invitationals in 2013, including the Kohler Invite at the Irish Course. Wajda's average of 73.28 was the lowest in the area, and he finished tied for second in the 2013 Division 1 WIAA State meet with a score of 73-73--146 to earn co-player of the year honors with current UW freshman golfer, Ben Skogen as well as first team state honors. He was also named the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel player of the year,
Eddie was a member of the 2013 GCAW Boys All-State Academic team. He chose Wisconsin over Minnesota, Northwestern, and Marquette.
Burcin on Wajda: "Eddie is one of the most diligent and efficient kids I have ever seen. It is always nice to deal with a player that will not leave any stone unturned and his goals are very high."
Johnny Decker - Edgewood High School, Verona, Wis.
Johnny has been a local standout at Madison's Edgewood High School playing for former Badger Joe Ring. Johnny joins Eddie Wajda in making up a strong 2014 in-state class. Johnny lost in a two-person playoff this past summer to qualify for the U.S. Junior. He claimed medalist honors at the 2013 Taylor Made-adidas Golf Qualifier for the Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands with a 1-under-par 71.
In July of 2013, Decker shot a career-best 68 to win the Players Tour event at Janesville Riverside Golf Club, and tied for first with a 73 in another Players Tour event at Blackhawk Country Club in Madison. This past spring in his conference meet, he shot a 73 but lost in a playoff for medalist honors, however his team won the Badger Conference title for the eight-straight time. He was 19th in the McArthur Towel and Sports Future Legends event with a 75-76-72--223. Decker tied for first in 2012 WIAA state meet with a 74-74-148 and earned second-team state honors. Decker chose Wisconsin over Notre Dame, Iowa, and Minnesota.
Burcin on Decker: "We cannot wait to have Johnny and his passion for the Badgers join us. Being a local kid who has had success, it was important to have him in our program and continue to keep the best in-state players coming to UW."
Payton Taylor - Vero Beach High School, Vero Beach, Fla.
Payton is ranked No. 6 in the ultra-competitive state of Florida. This past summer he notched a huge win at the AJGA Steve Marino shooting a 70-71-71--212. Just a few weeks ago he finished fourth in the Florida High School 3A Championship with an even par 73-71--144. He was third in the 2013 McArthur Towel & Sports Future Legends with a 73-70-72--215. He shot a 72 and finished 10th in the 2013 U.S. Open local qualifier in Vero Beach. He is currently ranked No. 86 in the Golfweek class of 2014.
As a junior he was named the Scripps Treasure Coast All-Area Boys Golfer of the Year after finishing tied for 20th in the Florida Class 2A state tournament. His average that season was a sub-par 35.8 strokes per nine holes. Payton chose Wisconsin over North Florida, Tennessee, and Michigan.
Burcin on Taylor: "We are thrilled to get one of the top players from Florida. Peyton is not afraid of the national stage and competing against the best in the country as he saw week-in and week-out playing in Florida."
Michael Abrahamson - Loyola Academy, Chicago, Ill.
Chicago native Michael Abrahamson is veteran of the national junior circuits notching three top 15's in AJGA events this past summer. Ranked as one of the top players in Illinois, he joins several other key pickups from the state of Illinois for Coach Burcin.
Abrahamson tied for sixth in the 2013 AJGA Junior at Quad Cities with a 73-74-73--220. He was eighth earlier in the summer at the AJGA Stonehenge Junior Open with a 73-69-68--210. He had several top five tournament appearances in Illinois Junior Golf Association events including first place finishes at Deerfield with a 69, Winnetka with a 70, and Old Orchard with a 71. He was 13th at the McArthur Towel and Sports Future Legends Tournament with a 73-78-70--221. Abrahamson chose Wisconsin over Marquette and Iowa.
Burcin on Abrahamson: "Michael is one of the most gifted players I have ever recruited. His ceiling is very high as demonstrated by his past record for shooting very low numbers. With continued refinement of this game, he can be a terrific college player."