ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (Oct. 8, 2012) -- In a closely fought contest, Steve Hudson prevailed in 24th State Mid-Amateur Championship at a windy Willow Point Golf & Country Club in Alexander City on Sunday.
Hudson started the final round with a two-shot lead over Will Swift and Robbie Cotten and that proved to be his margin of victory as he beat Hoover’s Swift by two and Brewton’s Cotten by four.
All three are now twice Mid-Amateur champions. Hudson won it two years ago as well as Sunday; 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.
Hudson, who grew up in Jasper and lives in Birmingham, carded rounds of 67-68-73–208, to finish eight-under-par. Swift started with the low round of the championship, a 65, and followed it with rounds of 72-73 to finish on 210. Cotten shot 70-67-75–212.
The gusting wind made conditions challenging on the back nine as the wind whipped across the course off of Lake Martin.
Hudson and Swift started the back nine tied at eight-under-par, one ahead of Robson Copenhaver of Scottsboro who fell back into a tie for fourth with McGowin Miller of Birmingham and Bart Barnes of Troy on 213.
Hudson and Swift both made birdies on No. 10, with a two-shot swing coming on No. 12 after Hudson made birdie to Swift’s bogey. Hudson went three ahead on the next hole after a Swift three-putt from long range. His lead never got lower than two, despite a couple of Hudson three-putts on Nos. 16 and 17.
“It was testing conditions and I hit a lot of well struck shots,” Hudson said. His penetrating ball flight was a definite plus in the wind.
“I had a real disappointment earlier this year in the State Senior when I played a poor final round when I had a chance to win. That stayed with me for a long time. (Tom Jungkind was the winner).
“I talked to Coach (Nick) Saban (who is a good friend of Hudson’s) last night and he encouraged me to not be score orientated and to stay in the moment on every shot. I feel I did a good job of that.”
Hudson, who will turn 55 in December and thus become eligible for national senior amateur events, felt his ball striking was key.
Swift was disappointed to finish second, but was heartened to be in contention as he has had an off year, by his own admission.
“I’ve struggled this year, there’s no denying that, plus I have not played as much golf. I struggled on the back nine, but tried to hang in there and give Steve something to think about.”
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