Hudson has ties with U.S. Open venue Merion
by Jack Mcneely
Jun 16, 2013 | 860 views | 0 0 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jack Mcneely
Jack Mcneely
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When Tab Hudson sits down to watch the final round of the 113th U.S. Open today, he will be watching with a different appreciation than every other local golfer.

The well-known 58-year-old Jasper man once navigated the challenging layout of Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. And it was not a casual round of golf.

Hudson teed it up with more than 100 accomplished golfers in the 1989 U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club. Chris Patton of South Carolina won that year.

“It is such a difficult course, and that’s apparent now that they (pros) are having trouble keeping the scores under par,” Hudson said Friday. “That course has so much slope to it, and the greens are original with a great deal of undulation. I would be surprised if the winning score is lower than 7 under par.”

Hudson and his two brothers, Steve and Philip, grew up working with their father, Travis, at Musgrove Country Club. They all were accomplished golfers.

Tab’s golfing prowess is well documented. After graduating from Walker High School in 1972, he signed to play golf at his beloved University of Alabama, where he lettered all four years. He captained the golf team and was named to the first team All-SEC squad his senior year.

After college, Tab played a half season on the European Tour. He then earned his PGA Tour card at Pinehurst in the fall of 1977. By the end of that year, he had lost his elusive tour card; his professional career was over.

Locally, he captured three Travis Hudson/Bernard Weinstein Invitational titles and 14 club championships at Musgrove.

Today Tab and his siblings, including sisters Pam and Susan, will undoubtedly reminisce about their father. Travis Hudson was a World War II veteran, an accomplished coach at Curry High and eventually made a name for himself as golf pro and superintendent at Musgrove from 1964-1993.

In 1989, Travis underwent a heart transplant, which extended his life 15 years. He died in October 2004, nearly 10 months after his wife, Mae, passed away. They were married for 59 years.

Pick up our summer issue of Walker Magazine in July for a special feature on the Hudson brothers, their father and their lifelong relationship with Musgrove Country Club.

Meanwhile, I’d like to give a shout out to those of use who are thinking about our fathers who are no longer with us. My namesake, Jackie Lee McNeely Sr., passed away in 1993. He was my best friend. May our day be filled with joy and fond memories!

Jack McNeely is publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle and can be contacted by phone at 205-221-2840 or via email at jack.mcneely@mountaineagle.com.