SEA ISLAND, Ga. – For all those who think golf is filled with bland, uninteresting robots cut from country club molds we offer the amazing adventures of Stiggy Hodgson.
Hodgson, the highlight of a Great Britain and Ireland team that didn’t have many highlights at last year’s Walker Cup, has an accent straight out of Oliver Twist, a swing that’s just twisted and, at 5-foot-6 with just a hint of a 5 o’clock shadow, the vague look of a cartoon character, which seems about right since his nickname was pinched from an old animated series.
“Stig of the dump,” Hodgson deadpans.
“Stig of the Dump was an old English cartoon,” he explains. “When I was 2 ½ I found my first golf club in a dumpster . . . so, Stig the Dump . . . Stiggy.”
Funny then that on Saturday at the Jones Cup, the 54-hole unofficial start of the amateur season played at venerable Ocean Forest Golf Club, that Hodgson’s game looked nothing like something one would find in a dumpster.
Hodgson, whose real name is Eamonn, followed his opening 83 with a day’s best 2-under 70 that may as well have been a 60 considering Saturday’s conditions along the Georgia coast. Winds whipped to 25 mph and the three players who bettered par in Round 1 all turned in cards over 80 on Saturday.
Hodgson, 19, trails Blayne Barber, whose rounds of 73-74—147 left him one shot clear of the field, but that second-round 70 gave the Englishman encouragement.
“It was really like 6, 7 under,” Hodgson said. “We get this kind of weather back home but we don’t get this golf course back home.”