Hudson maintains lead at Alabama State Senior
OPELIKA, Ala. (May 19, 2012) -- Friday, Steve Hudson made an eagle on No. 1; Saturday he made a double bogey, but no matter he still leads the way in the 15th State Senior Amateur Championship at NorthRiver Yacht Club in Tuscaloosa.

After an opening four-under-par 67 he had a three shot lead over four players. He added a 69 Saturday and doubled his lead to six shots in the 50-56 age division and three shots in the overall championship from Tom Jungkind, who shot 70-69–139 to lead the 57-64 age division and lie second overall.

Hudson, who also won the 2010 State Mid-Amateur and has been the AGA Player of the Year multiple times, hails from Birmingham, but was born and raised in Jasper, where his late father Travis Hudson was the longtime head professional at Musgrove Country Club.

Hudson’s total of six-under-par puts him six clear of former State Senior champion Emile Vaughan of Pike Road; and reinstated amateur and former NFL kicker Al DelGreco of Birmingham. Both players shot 70-72–142.

Last year’s runner-up and former State Junior and State Mid-Amateur champion Robert Nelson of Mobile is a stroke further back on 143 (70-73).

“I hit my opening drive right and it took a few bounces and went out of bounds. I made par with my second ball (for a double bogey 7), but told myself not to panic and was pleased to make a string of pars.”

He broke his par run with three birdies in four holes (on Nos. 7, 9 and 10).

He then capped his round with a 25 foot putt with seven feet of break on No. 18 for a closing birdie.

“I was just hoping to roll it close and it went in.”

So now he has a big lead to defend.

“As Coach (Nick Saban, a close friend of Hudson’s) says, all you can worry about is what is happening right now, as in the shot you are about to hit. You can’t worry about what has already happened and what is yet to happen. I’ll take that view tomorrow and try to hit a lot of fairways and greens.

“It’s not like I need to be overly aggressive, but I can’t sit back either.”

Hudson also credited John Gray, head golf professional at Ol’ Colony in Tuscaloosa, with a few tips he gave him on Thursday.

“We always used to call John ‘Shadow’, as he was like our Dad’s shadow. John played for Alabama and was a freshman when I was a senior.”

Jungkind of Bessemer leads Richard Jeffers of Mobile (72-70–142) by three shots in the 57-64 age division.

Bobby Locklear of Albertville leads Bob Moody in the 65+ age division.

Play concludes Sunday.

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