Hot spring continues for Hudson at Big 12 Championship
April 24, 2010
A little experience, a burst of momentum and a hot putter can serve you well in college golf, particularly in postseason play. In Friday’s opening round of the 2010 Big 12 Championships at Whispering Pines, Texas junior Bobby Hudson had all three, and it powered him to an 8-under 64, good for a single-round tournament record.
“I thought I would play well before I came to the course,” Hudson explained. “I felt really good in the practice round and hit the ball really well. Last week at Texas A&M, I drove the ball well but I didn’t quite make the putts. I worked on my putting this week and made a lot of putts today.”
It did not take long for Hudson to get going in Friday’s morning round. He sank a birdie at the first hole and followed three pars with two additional birdies.
“At No. 1, I hit driver and wedge, and I hit it to about eight feet and made the putt,” Hudson recalled. “At No. 5, I debated going for the green in two (shots), but the wind was in my face and I laid up with a 5-iron at 95 yards and hit it to two or three feet. At No. 6 I hit another wedge, hit it to about seven feet and made the putt.”
Three more pars preceded another birdie at No. 10. He bogeyed No. 11, but he more than made up for that through the remainder of the round. He birdied a par-five at No. 12 and added four straight birdies at Nos. 14 through 17, which included a pair of par-threes at Nos. 15 and 16.
“The par-threes (at Nos. 15 and 16) are not birdie holes at all,” Hudson said. “You want to make par there and get out. I just made two really good swings and hit them right at the pin. I made a 4-footer on No. 15 and an 8-footer at No. 16.”
No. 17 presented a mammoth 603-yard layout that humbled many players, but not Hudson. Might as well go for the green in two, right?
“I went for it in two and I hit it just short of the green,” Hudson said with a grin. “Then, I almost chipped it in for an eagle but rolled it just past the left lip.”
Hudson carded a par at No. 18 to finish with his 8-under 64 for the round, which tied for the lowest single round in the 14-year history of the Big 12 Championship. It invoked memories of his course record at The University of Texas Golf Club, where shot a 65 in the final round of the 2008 Morris Williams Intercollegiate to help the Longhorns to victory.
“It was fantastic golf, one of the better rounds that’s ever been shot at the Big 12 Championship,” Texas head coach John Fields said. “He had one momentary lapse in concentration, but other than that, it was fantastic golf.”
A superb round, of course, though not a personal best. An interested observer saw Hudson drop a 63 in a junior tournament long before he became a Longhorn.
“In the Orange Bowl junior tournament, which was the first time Coach Fields ever saw me play golf, I shot a 63.”
Experience was on Hudson’s side Friday. He played Whispering Pines as a freshman when he started for the Longhorns at the 2008 Big 12 Championship, where he tied for 11th place.
“It definitely helped that I had played here before,” Hudson said. “I absolutely love this golf course. You can score well here. I was pleased to go back under-par again Friday after the 64.”
Friday’s nine-under showing on the day continued a solid spring for the Memphis native. He opened the spring by notching his second career college win in February at the Mauna Lani Invitational in Hawaii. He helped the Horns win the Puerto Rico Classic in February by tying for seventh place. He went on to add a fourth-place finish at the National Invitational Tournament in March before tying for eighth at UT’s Morris Williams Intercollegiate in April.
“I’ve been playing some of the best golf of my life the last couple of months,” Hudson said. “I’ve been fortunate to have some success, but not consistently over a long period. I’ve played well throughout the semester, and I feel good about that.”