Valentine Captures Forty & Over Championship
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Abbie Valentine raised the trophy at the Forty & Over Championship on Sunday on the Whispering Oak Course at Verandah Club.
The Forty & Over Championship consisted of a 130-player field with a 36-hole cut to the low 60 players and ties. This championship was spread out over two golf courses. The players played one round at River Hall Country Club and one round at the Whispering Oak Course at Verandah before the cut. The final round was played at Verandah. Players were tested at both courses, each course donning a scoring average of 76.
Abbie Valentine reigned victorious as the 54th Forty & Over champion. Valentine carded a tournament total of 202 (-14), with scores of 68-67-67. Valentine’s three rounds were nothing short of impressive. He fired a bogey-free 68 in the first round, and then birdied the last five holes of the second round to shoot a back nine total of 30 and sit in second, two shots back of Thad Hudgens, heading into the final round.
Valentine made the turn at only one shot back from Hudgens. Valentine then proceeded to go on another five-hole birdie streak to shoot a final round score of 67, and win the tournament by two strokes over.
Hudgens finished in second place with a tournament total of 204 (-12), delivering some remarkable rounds as well. He held the lead after the first two rounds after shooting rounds of 65-68. Hudgens carded 19 birdies over 54-holes. He finished in style with a birdie on his final hole.
The 18th hole at Whispering Oak is a 560 yard par-5. Hudgens entered that hole at three shots back and played aggressively. He hit a long drive down the middle of the fairway and then striped a 3-wood to hit the green in two and give himself a chance at an eagle. Hudgens narrowly missed his eagle putt and finished with a birdie and secured a solo second place by three shots.
Valentine outlasted the field as the only player with three consecutive rounds in the 60s. He birdied seven of his last ten holes on Saturday and five of his final eight holes on Sunday to raise the well-deserved trophy.