Hudson Swafford cuts Masters, another visit to Waffle House planned

AUGUSTA, Ga. – What. One day.

The magic of Augusta National was in the spotlight on Friday. But let’s start first with how we got to magic. The 12:05 a.m. departure time from Hudson on Friday allowed Hudson and I to sleep in a bit later. And, after a debate over breakfast, we opted for a visit to the Waffle House in North Augusta.

I ordered those illustrious hash browns cut into chunks, covered and smothered, but I made sure to whisper it to the waitress because those aren’t the best terms in golf to hear before you jump into the second round of the tournament. masters. . After a fully satisfying meal, we headed back to the rental house to get ready to head to the golf course to turn this tournament around and have Hudson scratching his head and fighting his way into the competition.

During my days of caddying for Hudson in college, we were kind of known to be a bit superstitious. If we did something before a round and Hudson was playing well that day, we would follow the same routine the next morning.

I’ll never forget I was caddying for him in the Southern Amateur Tournament in Orlando and the song “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis came in as we walked through the gates of Lake Nona. Hudson shot 64 that day. Needless to say we played this song all week before every round and it was a great tournament. I knew he needed a good round on Friday, so on the way to the course, about 15 years later, I started the song as we were driving down Washington Road and heading to Augusta National National Golf Club.

SWAFFORD TO THE MASTERS

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CONSECUTIVE BIRDIES JUMPSTART HUDSON

After another glorious trip down Magnolia Lane, we got to the course around 10:15 a.m. and I dropped Hudson off at the clubhouse to do some stretching and preparation before his warm-up. As I have done on other mornings, I took advantage of this free time to take the courtesy car to the players’ pitch and catch up with my family and friends by text message before leaving my phone behind for the rest of the day. daytime.

Hudson had a great warm-up and headed to the first tee. After another iconic announcement of his name off the tee and a perfect drive later, he was comfortably seated in the middle of the first fairway.

Friday’s conditions were incredibly difficult. As evidenced by my cherry-colored cheeks and nose, the wind was strong and the temperatures cooler. The scoreboard showed evidence that the scores were skyrocketing, which told Hudson that if he played well, he could move up the leaderboard quickly. Consecutive birdies on No. 2 and 3 got him off to a strong start. An unfortunate bogey at 4 held him back slightly, but he made some great par putts on 5s and 6s to keep the momentum going. A routine par of 7 followed by him hitting the green in two shots on the par 5 8th hole led to a birdie and a better field score 2 under the front nine after a par on the 9th hole.

Hudson birdied the 10 to open the 9 on the right note and had perhaps two of the best highs and lows I have ever seen from him on the 11 and 12. That brings us to the 13 where a lot of between you saw what happened to him on his second shot. When he made contact with his second shot on the 13th, the clubhead flew out and rolled down the fairway about 70 yards out. Luckily the ball wasn’t affected too much and it ended up in a greenside bunker and left a birdie opportunity. Twitter had a field day with this as the shooting had been nationally televised.

Crisis averted.

April 5, 2022;  Augusta, Georgia, USA;  Hudson Swafford starts on the no.  10 during a practice round of The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.  Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

IT”S THE DAY OF THE MOVE TO THE MASTERS

After pars at the 14 and 15, Hudson approached the tee on the 16 and hit a nice shot from about 5 feet for another birdie. At this point, Hudson had the lowest round of the day. A wayward tee shot on the 17th led to a bogey, but he hit one of his best tee shots of the day on the 18th and then hit it onto the green for an easy par and an incredible round of 3 under 69. After the round, he was about as giddy and excited as Hudson Swafford is. He knew how well he was playing and the stats don’t lie.

Shooting 69, Hudson moved from 80th to 23rd place. He made one of the biggest moves of the day of the entire field at the Masters. It also marked the first time Hudson had made the cut in three Masters appearances.

After the round, it was pretty much the same.

Chipping, full shots and a little physiotherapy session. As creatures of habit, we hit the same Publix we’ve been visiting for the past few days to grab some things to grill and relax at home. The house is right next to Hud’s caddy, Kyle Bradley’s house, so we teamed up with the kitchen and ate at Kyle’s. After some memories of Friday’s Magic Round and the Braves’ win over the Reds, it was time to go to bed to rest for Hudson’s 12:10 p.m. tee time with Harry Higgs, aka Mr. No-Buttons .

I had this feeling that Saturday could be a special day.

I spent some time Friday in my article talking about how Hudson is a fighter, never gives up and how I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves up the rankings. While the likes of Bryson Dechambeau were shooting 80s, Hudson fought back and had one of the best rounds I’ve ever seen him play. After this unfortunate triple bogey Thursday at the 5th hole, he could have thrown in the towel and given up. But he did not do it.

So while Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele sit on their couches this weekend watching the Masters on TV, Hudson Swafford will be walking the Augusta fairways all weekend with his late father David d’ upstairs, no doubt helping him to meet the challenges ahead of us on Saturday and Sunday.

The Waffle House is upon me Saturday morning and get ready to sing some Leona Lewis on the way to class because it’s moving day in Augusta!

Editor’s note: Cory Guzzo was born and raised in Tallahassee, where he currently works as a lobbyist. Cory and Hudson first met on the junior golf and all-star baseball tours when they were around 11 years old. They attended Maclay together and played varsity golf. When Hudson went to Georgia and Cory to Florida State, Cory caddyed for Hudson at the many prestigious amateur golf tournaments Hudson was invited to during the summer. In 2010, Cory caddyed for Hudson at the US Open at Pebble Beach, when he competed as an amateur. The two acted as groomsmen at each other’s wedding.

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