Fog delayed the start of the 24th State Mid-Amateur Championship at Willow Point Golf & Country Club in Alexander City by almost an hour, but it did not delay Steve Hudson’s move to the top of the leaderboard.
Hudson carded a four-under-par 68, which added to his opening round of 67, gives him a total of 135, good for a two-shot lead over Robbie Cotten and overnight leader Will Swift.
All three are former Mid-Amateur champions. Hudson won it two years ago; Swift won it back-to-back in 2006-07 and Cotten did so in 1999 and 2005. All three have also won other Alabama Golf Association state titles.
Cotten fired a second round 67, matching fourth-placed Robson Copenhaver of Scottsboro (71-67–138) for the low round of the day. Brewton’s Cotten has rounds of 70-67 for his two-round total of 137, matched by Hoover’s Swift (65-72).
But the lead belongs to Hudson, who closed very, very well with birdies on his final four holes (15-18) to turn a steady round into a leading round.
“I haven’t played that much competitively lately,” Hudson said. “But I’ve come very close this year to playing in three USGA national championships.”
He was an alternate in the U.S. Mid-Amateur, lost a playoff for an alternate spot in U.S. Amateur qualifying, and just missed out on making the field for the U.S. Senior Open.
“So, when I’ve played I’ve been playing nicely and have confidence in my game.”
His only hiccup in his opening round of 67, when he carded seven birdies, was a double bogey 5 on No. 11, his second hole of the round. However, he got his own back on this par 3 over water by holing a 40 foot putt for a birdie on Saturday.
And he really got his putter going, holing putts of nine, 15, 25 and five feet, for an exceptional close to his round.
“I’ll need to keep playing well Sunday (in order to win) as Robbie and Will are tough competitors, as well as being good friends of mine. I look forward to the round.”
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