The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

May 13, 2014

Hodges wins 4A golf title

— Years of practice paid off for Ardmore’s Lee Hodges Tuesday afternoon when the senior was crowned the top individual golfer in Class 4A at the AHSAA State Golf Tournament in Prattville.

Hodges carried a three-stroke lead in to Tuesday’s final round and finished with an even-par, 144 over 36 holes to win the 4A individual title.

“I’m feeling pretty good right now,” said Hodges after winning the school’s first golf championship. “It was really hard to shoot anywhere close to par out here. I didn’t know what I would need (to win). The pins were tucked behind ridges. If you didn’t hit it just right, you had a 40-foot putt to make.”

Hodges finished three strokes better than St. James’ Hooper Wells over the two-day tournament. After two bogeys on the front nine Tuesday, Hodges rebounded with a birdie on the 15th hole to shoot a 73, 1-over par for the day.

“He stuck to his game plan this year,” said Ardmore golf coach Jon South. “He went out today with the right mindset. He went out playing to win. That’s the mindset he needed to make. Not pressing, but taking chances when he had the opportunity.”

It was the fifth consecutive state tournament appearance for Hodges. The Ardmore senior becomes the first golfer from a Limestone County school to win an individual golf state championship.

“This is my fifth one. I finally won it,” said Hodges. “I finished third the past three years and I didn’t really play my best. I thought I played my best out there today.”

Hodges was the only golfer in Class 4A to shoot under par for the tournament when he finished with a 1-under 71 through the first 18 holes Monday.  McGill-Toolen’s Steven Setterstrom was the overall low-medalist with an 8-under 136.

No other golfer shot better than 3-under-par.

“There were some 6A kids below par, but it was tough,” said South. “I was surprised at how hard it was playing. I’ve been to state tournaments the last 11 years and I haven’t seen one set up this tough for the kids.”

Teammate Andrew Eakes finished tied for 14th in 4A after shooting a 163 for the tournament. Ardmore finished sixth as a team.

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