E.A. Sports Today

Jacob’s climbing

LeCroy shoots 64 to win his second tournament this month, earns an exemption to Torrey Pines, preps for State Am later this week

By East Alabama Sports Today

JASPER – Jacob LeCroy really wanted to go back to Torrey Pines, but he had a lot of work to do if it were going to happen.

The rising Donoho senior started the final round of the Pigeon Dove Junior at Musgrove Country Club four shots off the lead, but went out and shot 7-under-par 64 and raced past first-round leader Nick Saywer of Centre to win by two and earn an exemption into in the IMG Academy Junior Worlds later this summer on the famed San Diego course.

“It’s the only reason I wanted to play in this tournament,” LeCroy said. “I had a lot of work to do; I’m happy it came out today.

“To come out and shoot that today, that’s big time. I’ve played in it maybe five other times. I kept all the course knowledge I had and used it today.”

LeCroy’s score was 10 shots better than his opening round; he had six birdies, an eagle and a bogey. At one point early in the final round he was five shots behind Sawyer, a rising senior at Cedar Bluff.

The win comes on the heels of closing out the Wilfred Galbraith ACC Invitational at Anniston Country Club Sunday and his third in 21 days, having started the run by winning the AHSAA Class 1A-2A state title.

Ironically, he started the final round four shots back when he qualified for the trip to Torrey in Auburn in 2015.

LeCroy used a torrid start to climb back into it. He was 5-under through seven holes, capped by a 12-foot eagle on No. 7 at the end of a birdie-birdie-eagle run. He gained a share of the lead after the second of back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12, lipping out an eight-foot putt for eagle on 11.

He fell back a shot when Sawyer birdied 13, but went ahead when Sawyer suffered back-to-back bogeys at 15 and 16, and then padded the lead with a birdie at 18. For the second day in a row he started and ended his rounds with birdies.

“I definitely thought I had a shot (to win it),” LeCroy said. “I knew I had what I shot today in me, but I didn’t know if I’d come out there and do it.

“It felt incredible. I don’t really know what the difference was mental wise in yesterday’s and today’s round. I couldn’t see a difference. I just went out and played better golf today. It showed me I could play big in big moments.”

LeCroy typically celebrates his win with a dip in the pool, but that had to wait Tuesday as he immediately headed to Pine Hill CC in Birmingham to get in some practice for the State Amateur that starts Thursday.

He plays in the first group off the first tee, 7:30 a.m. Thursday, with Fort Payne’s Dawson Garrett and Birmingham’s Nick Robillard. Anniston’s Layton Bussey, Oxford’s Logan Archer and former Donoho golfer Jackson King also are in the field.

“I still might go swimming,” LeCroy said, “but not right now.”

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