Daniels – After Davey Jude capped a remarkable comeback where he rallied from a five-stroke deficit with five holes to play in the Mountain State Golf Classic, he embraced his fiancé Auburn and four-month-old Sutton.
It was a special moment for the elder Jude as it was the first time his son was in attendance for one of his dad’s tournament wins – his first since reobtaining his amateur status on July 2.
“It means a lot,” Jude said. “Mainly my son being here with me, that’s actually my first tournament playing with my son. I know that he’s young, but it’s also good to see dad’s name on the board. Something for him to shoot for in the future of he decides to play golf.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Sutton competing in the tournament in 17 years. Especially if he’s as impressionable as his dad was. Jude grew up watching his father play in golf tournaments and shared many memorable experiences with him, including winning the Parent-Child Championship at Glade Springs in years past.
That’s part of why the Mountain State Golf Classic and Jude’s win in the event mean so much to him.
His father, David Jude, was a staple in the tournament before he died in a helicopter crash in 2019. The Cobb Course, on which Jude shot 3-under on Monday to seal the comeback, was his dad’s favorite. That’s part of why he’ll remain a staple of the event himself.
“My dad played in this golf tournament every year,” Jude said. “They continue to honor him here and Mike Mays was a good friend of my dad’s and my dad won the first flight a few years back.”
“It’s something that’s always going to be on my calendar for the rest of my life is this tournament. Because it was more of a family bond starting out. I still play the first few rounds with my dad’s best friend Ardie Jenkins and will continue to do that to try and fill in for my dad there. But it means so much to me because Beckley has been so beneficial to my golf career and also beneficial after what happened with my dad. They’ve always supported me and understand the situation and I could never repay this place. I’m just so grateful for them.”
For those that know Jude and knew his father, the scene of him hoisting the trophy in front of the clubhouse on Monday was surreal and bittersweet. Mike Mays, one of the event’s organizers and a six-time champion, was a good friend of David’s and relished in watching Davey claim the title. When the younger Jude made his way over for the trophy presentation an emotional Mays greeted Jude with a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“It’s really, really exciting,” an emotional Mays said. “His dad was somebody I considered a good friend and he was a fierce competitor just like Davey. He put that competitive nature in Davey’s heart, so it’s a little bittersweet. I watched Davey as a young player and then he developed into an even better player when he went to Marshall and played golf. I saw him take it to the next level and saw what he was capable of and knew his talent. I mean he’s got great talent. It’s not something you obtain without hard, hard work. And he’s put the hard work in. This was a great tournament for him to win. He’s got a lot of great things going on. He’s going into the Amateur this year, the W.Va State Open and I see him being a big contender in all of those.
“He’s got the game and most importantly he’s got the discipline. I always say there’s people that play golf, but you’ve got to learn how to play golf and there’s a difference. You need to know risk and rewards, multiple shots and have multiple skills like putting and chipping. Yes he can hit it a country mile, but he’s got all of that. He was behind today but he showed his professionalism but put all the hard work to work. The time he’s spent off the golf course is paying dividends too. I’m excited for him and can’t help but say he’s going to be around for a long time. He’s played everywhere and his dad taught him a lot. That goes to say David did it right for that boy. He’s a good man.”
Contact Tyler Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org, call him at 304-731-5542 and follow on Twitter @tjack94