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November 13, 2013

GIRLS' GOLF PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Hudson’s leadership of Highlanders enables her earn honor again

Floyd Central senior is golfer of the year for second season in a row

FLOYDS KNOBS —  In the 2012 season, Floyd Central’s Eliza Hudson earned the News and Tribune Area Girls’ Golfer of the Year award for being the only female golfer from the Clark-Floyd area to qualify for the IHSAA State Finals.

This past season, Hudson went back to the state finals for the second time in her career. But this time, it was more special because she and her entire team played in the tournament Oct. 4-5 at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin.

Hudson, a senior, led the Highlanders to the 2013 state finals by helping them  qualify for the tournament by finishing third in the Washington Regional on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Country Oaks Golf Club in Montgomery.

Hudson’s leadership is the main reason she has earned the Area Girls’ Golfer of the Year for the second year in a row.

“I’m definitely very honored and very appreciative,” Hudson said. “I owe a lot to my team for the award because we made it to state as a team. Even though going to state my junior year was extremely awesome, having the whole team go was our goal all year. It was awesome.”

Floyd Central girls’ golf coach Lenny Hartlage said Hudson’s leadership was significant in getting the Highlanders to state. He praised Floyd Central junior Morgan Stanley and his daughter, senior Scarlett Hartlage, for their play throughout the season to get the Highlanders to state.

“[Hudson’s leadership] was very vital,” Coach Hartlage said. “If it wasn’t for her, Morgan and Scarlett, I don’t know where we would’ve been. Eliza was very instrumental in being a leader.”

Hudson led the Highlanders in 18-hole scoring average this season at 79.27.

Hudson earned sectional medalist honors for the first time in her career on Sept. 19 at the Corydon Central Sectional at Old Capital Golf Club in Corydon by winning a one-hole playoff against Stanley. Both Hudson and Stanley shot a 1-over-par 73 in regulation.

At regional, Hudson’s 84 enabled Floyd Central to reach the state finals. At state, Hudson shot a team-low, two-round score of 162 to lead the Highlanders to an 11th-place finish.

Hudson said the main thing she improved on from last season was her short game.

“I played in a lot of summer tournaments where I played longer yardages,” Hudson said. “While playing those tournaments, I realized that I had to tweek my short game and that definitely helped in the long run.”

Lenny Hartlage said the improvement in her short game helped her reach scores in the mid to low 70s this past season.

“Last year, she was not capable of shooting 73, 75 and a couple of 76s like this year,” Coach Hartlage said. “This year, she was consistently in the 80s, but she was capable of shooting 75 or 76.”

Hudson said she hopes to have the opportunity to play collegiate golf.

“It’s definitely on my list for next year,” Hudson said. “I’ve talked to a couple of [NCAA Division I] schools and a couple of [Division III] schools. I’m keeping my options open.”

Hudson believes if she is to be competitive at the collegiate level, the first thing she must work on is her length off the tee.

“I’ll need to increase my distance because I’m going to be playing longer yardages,” Hudson said.

Coach Hartlage thinks she can excel at the college level.

“She’ll do fine. She definitely wants to play in college and she will,” he said.

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