E.A. Sports Today

Confident champion

LeCroy grabs lead with long eagle putt, then delivers when the pressure was on to stay in front and win ACC Invitational

Jacob LeCroy puts the finishing touches on his ACC Invitational victory while the rest of the final pairing looks on. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

In some of his more private golf moments Jacob LeCroy admitted he was quite nervous playing in the final group on Championship Sunday of the Wilfred Galbraith ACC Invitational last year. He’d been in the hunt in tournaments before, but nothing as prestigious and adult as this.

There were no signs of those nerves Sunday.

LeCroy took the outright lead with a 55-foot eagle putt on No. 11 and withstood three white-knuckle situations down the stretch that would have crushed a weaker resolve, winning the county’s first major by two shots.

Jacob LeCroy (L) is congratulated by defending champion Dalton Chandler after winning the Wilfred Galbraith ACC Invitational.

The 18-year-old Donoho junior, the Class 1A-2A high school state champion, shot a final-round 4-under-par 66 for a 54-hole total 8-under 202. Defending champion Dalton Chandler (66) and second-round co-leader Gary Wigington (69) finished tied for second at 204.

“Coming down the stretch in the state tournament I was getting a little worried, like the last few holes getting the jitters; I didn’t feel any of that at all today,” he said. “I don’t know what it was different. I guess I just had more confidence about my game.”

LeCroy played in the final group here last year with Chandler, Wigington and Jeremy McGatha. He started that day in third place – just as he did Sunday — three shots off the lead, then shot 77 after two rounds under par and finished fifth.

“It’s an astronomical difference,” Chandler said of his cart partner’s confidence level. “He just doesn’t have any bad spots to his game. He played good from start to finish. He did everything good.”

“He was a lot more comfortable,” Wigington agreed. “He certainly felt like he deserved to be there and should’ve been there whereas maybe last year he might maybe didn’t feel like he should’ve been there, which he should have. You could tell he was much more comfortable, he was confident. You can just tell he was built for this type stuff. He’s got the game for it. He’s good all the way around. Somebody was asking me what’s the weak point. I don’t see one.”

LeCroy made the turn Sunday tied for the lead with Scott Martin, who shared the lead with Wigington to start the day and led the field by two through five holes. He jumped two shots ahead of everyone with his cross-green bomb for eagle 11 from a place birdie’s not a gimme.

It looked to be stroke that won him the tournament until the way he saved par on 15.

He gave a shot back with a bogey on 14, but on the next three holes he made clutch strokes to match his closest challenger when Chandler applied the pressure, including temporarily tying for the lead on 17.

On 15 he made an eight-footer for par, completing an up-and-down from behind the green after catching a flier from the fairway. On the par-3 16th he chipped it close from an awkward lie off the green after Chandler chipped it to within inches from well below the putting surface. And then on 17 he made a testy three-footer for birdie on top of the one Chandler made to draw even – after backing off it when a wasp landed on his shirt.

One shot separated LeCroy and Chandler on 18 and they were dead even on opposite sides of the fairway off the tee. LeCroy’s approach settled about eight feet behind the hole. Chandler wanted to spin a low 56-degree wedge close to the hole, but thinned it into the thick rough behind the green. Chandler chipped up, but his par clipped the edge of the hole without falling, dropping him into a share of second with Wigington. LeCroy two-putted for the win.

“It was unbelievable the fact I wasn’t jittery out there,” LeCroy said. “I knew I just made a big putt, (but) I’ve still got to make sure I birdie 17 because Dalton’s going to birdie 17, Twig’s going to birdie 17. I know who I’m playing against.

“I’ve watched Twig when I was 8 years old out here grinding playing against Ott (Chandler) and Gary (Wilborn) and whoever else. I’ve watched Marcus (Harrell). I know how all these guys play. I know what it takes. It’s not necessarily golf shots you’re hitting; it’s about putting and chipping. After playing this game for like 12 years I’ve learned putting and chipping (is the key).”

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in my putting right now. Maybe I can carry that over for the next week, two, five weeks. Next month, too.”

The ACC Invitational started a busy and important month for LeCroy. On Monday he goes to Jasper for the Pigeon Dove Junior and an exemption into the IMG Academy World Junior at Torrey Pines. That’s followed by the Alabama State Amateur later this week, Southern Junior, Bud Burns Dixie Junior and Future Masters.

NOTES: Logan Archer shot the best round of the day, a 65 (six birdies, one bogey) … Ty Cole surged into fourth with four birdies in his final eight holes after 10 straight pars … Cypress Hathorn and Matthew Burrow also eagled No. 11. Chad Reavis eagled 7 and Will Broome eagled 3 in the players flights … The other flight winners were Caleb Bowen (Championship B), Daniel Black (First), Hank Smith (Second) and Eric Lett (Third) … LeCroy won’t bring that game to the Sunny King Charity Classic. He will be attending a Dewsweepers golf camp in Texas that week … If the Calhoun County Golf Tour season ended Sunday, LeCroy would grab the 16th and final spot in the County Match Play Championship with only one event played. Ty Cole leads the standings with 1050 points … The next event on the Calhoun County Golf Tour calendar is the RTJ Silver Lakes Championship, June 23-24. Entry fee is $125 (discounts for RTJ Platinum/Annual Members). Deadline for entries is June 20.

Dalton Chandler chips it close from an awkward position on 16 to put some pressure on leader Jacob LeCroy.

Cover photo: Jacob LeCroy accepts the trophy for winning the Wilfred Galbraith ACC Invitational from Anniston CC pro Steven Driggers. To see a photo gallery from the round visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com


Final scores
Championship A Flight
Jacob LeCroy 68-68-66—202
Gary Wigington 69-66-69—204
Dalton Chandler 68-70-66—204
Ty Cole 72-68-66—206
Scott Martin 66-69-75—210
Andrew Brooks 72-68-70—210
Brennan Clay 70-71-72—213
Logan Archer 70-79-65—214
Max Basler 72-69-76—217
Cypress Hathorn 71-73-73—217
Kevin Daugherty 73-72-72—217
Chad Calvert 71-78-69—218
Eric Howle 73-73-73—219
Chip Howell 72-76-73—221
Clay Calkins 72-75-78—225
Landon Straub 73-80-88—241

Championship B Flight
Caleb Bowen 73-69-67—209
Grant Hockman 77-71-68—216
Matthew Burrow 75-71-72—218
Jeremy McGatha 75-74-72—221
Dustin Travis 73-70-80—223
Ryan Huff 73-72-78—223
Chad Reavis 75-72-76—223
Chandler Wilborn 75-75-73—223
Matt Rogers 73-75-79—227
Layton Bussey 74-74-79—227
David Sanders 75-75-78—228
Randy Archer 75-78-76—229
Kenny Wright 77-76-77—230
Tyler Huckaby 77-80-76—233
Tyler Dopson 77-82-80—239
Keith Raisanen 77-80-87—244
Jason Britton 75-81-90—246

First Flight
Daniel Black 71-74—145
Tanner Wells 76-72—148
Chase Hollingsworth 73-76—149
David Lawrence 73-76—149
Randy Lipscomb 76-74—150
Timmy Woodard 76-74—150
Chance Harris 75-76—151
Don Springer 76-79—155
Charlie Smith 71-86—157
Gary Wilborn 72-WD

Second Flight
Hank Smith 77-71—148
Chris Sanford 78-74—152
Will Broome Jr. 82-72—154
Graham Morrow 79-78–157
Rob Svensen 79-78—157
Luke Armstrong 77-84—161
Don Hill 79-82—161
John Lindsey 80-83—163
Kevin Rogers 80-79—159
Tom Roberts 80-86—166
Kenny Fulmer 81-83—164

Third Flight
Eric Lett 84-72—156
Jono Waugh 85-80—165
Mike Lett 87-80—167
Trey Stone 85-86—171
Taylor Jones 84-90—174
Jimmy Ulrey 88-87—175
Brian Woodfin 87-91—178
Amado Ortiz 84-97—181
Don Whitlow 92-92—184
Aaron Jones 90-95—185
Kelly Rogers 96-93—189

Logan Archer’s 5-under-par 65 Sunday was the low round of the tournament.


(Through Wilfred Galbraith ACC Invitational)
Ty Cole 1050
Gary Wigington 892.5
Brennan Clay 817.5
Jeremy McGatha 722.5
Chad Calvert 672.5
Logan Archer 650
Caleb Bowen 530
Randy Lipscomb 515
Andrew Brooks 482.5
Matt Rogers 455
Clay Calkins 435
Adrian Geeting 375
Kenny Wright 367.5
Scott Martin 322.5
Kaine Gibson 310
Jacob LeCroy 300
Kevin Daugherty 295
Jake Goggans 285
Chip Howell 277.5
Luke Armstrong 265
Layton Bussey 245
Chandler Wilborn 242.5
Dalton Chandler 242.5
Tanner Wells 237.5
Jeff Borrelli 235
Dustin Travis 230
Timmy Woodard 217.5
Chad Reavis 217.5
Daniel Black 210
Chris Cox 200
Corey Ray 195
Clay Guerin 195
Alex Harper 185
Chance Harris 170
Landon Straub 167.5
Tanner Roberts 165
Grant Hockman 165
Austin Minter 162.5
Corbin Holland 160
Cypress Hathorn 155
Max Basler 155
Richard Starling 152.5
Daniel Fienemann 152.5
Walt Drake 150
David Lawrence 150
Matthew Burrow 142.5
Heath Walker 140
Randy Archer 140
Eric Howle 135
Jerome Wilson 132.5
Daily Thomas 130
Joey Fortner 130
Kevin Rogers 127.5
Norris Ray 115
Ryan Huff 112.5
Janson Wilborn 107.5
Eric Lett 107.5
Chase Hollingsworth 102.5
Mark Cantrell 100
Graham Morrow 95
Vince Floyd 92.5
Scotty Grimes 92.5
Mark Highland 90
Casey Harmon 87.5
Tyler Teneyck 85
Keith Raisanen 85
David Sanders 85
Jono Waugh 82.5
Wayne Hudgins 77.5
John McKenzie 77.5
Zach Contris 75
Jason Britton 75
David Martin 70
Tyler Huckaby 70
Dane Moore 67.5
Rocco D’Gomez 65
Tyler Dopson 65
Jeff Bain 60
Jimmy Jackson 60
Eric Crabtree 60
T.J. McGatha 55
Will Farley 55
Clark Cunningham 50
Mark Gaines 50
Kelly Rogers 50
Cliff Tucker 47.5
Jeff Hammontree 40
Hank Smith 37.5
Larry Cunningham 32.5
Fran Doyle 32.5
Tim Steward 30
Ron McKinney 25
Jeff Chapman 25
Clay Smith 25
Ron Seckinger 20
Chase Thomas 15
Clayton Chandler 15
Clay Jones 10
Roscoe Johnson 10
Aaron Jones 10
Kenny Fulmer 10
Don Hill 10
Brad Baird 7.5
Billy Thompson 5
Scott Sikes 5
Mike Granato 5
Kobie Webb 5
Landon Holley 5
Seth Collett 5
Bruce Collins 5
Lamar Ward 5
Ron Fleming 5
Charley Estes 5
Phillip Hunt 5
Kyle Daugherty 5
Rick Taylor 5
Jeremy Willis 5
Steve Lee 5
Tim Fulmer 5
J.T. Wright 5
Donnie Sutton 5
Eric Haskins 5
Danny Owens 5
Buster Woodard 5
David Lipscomb 5
Danny Dunlap 5
J.T. Cross 5
Dre Davenport 5
Andrew Gunnells 5
Matt Greer 5
Kent Back 5
Mark Cotton 5
Brad Knight 5
Jim Dunlap 5
Ron McClellan 5
Amado Ortiz 5
Jimmy Ulrey 5
Charlie Smith 5
Rob Svensen 5
Don Springer 5
Trey Stone 5
John Lindsey 5
Mike Lett 5
Will Broome 5
Tom Roberts 5
Don Whitlow 5
Taylor Jones 5
Chris Sanford 5
Gary Wilborn 5
Brian Woodfin 5

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