E.A. Sports Today

Slamming the door

Donoho’s LeCroy, White Plains close strong to complete wire-to-wire runs in Glencoe Invitational
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
SILVER LAKES – It’s not the way you start a round that determines whether you’ll be a champion on the golf course, but rather the way you finish.


Donoho senior Jacob LeCroy put together a finish for the ages Saturday when he birdied six of his last seven holes to turn an uneventful round into a 2-under-par 70 and wrap up a wire-to-wire medalist run in the Glencoe Invitational at Silver Lakes.
Meanwhile, in the team race, White Plains expected to go lower than it did in the first round and did just that, firing a 303 with four rounds in the 70s to win their third tournament in a row.
LeCroy carried a three-shot lead into the final round, but his round was headed in the opposite direction as he found himself 4-over after 11 holes. Then, the South Alabama signee caught fire.
He birdied four straight holes (Backbreaker 3, 4, 5, 6) and to get back to even par, missed a five-foot birdie putt on the par-5 7th, then birdied 8 and 9, with an 18-foot eagle putt on the last. None of the birdie putts were longer than 14 feet.
“I just persevered because, believe me, nothing was going my way,” LeCroy said. “The first 11 holes it was like ‘What’s going on here?’ I’m not mad, I’m just sitting there like ‘I’m struggling.’ Then I made a putt and my confidence went through the roof and I cut it on after that.
“I was happy I finished strong. Even the guy I was playing with (White Plains’ Andrew Miller) said that was fun to watch. Before this year I’d never made like three birdies in a row. I wasn’t a good enough putter for that. But I’ve gotten a lot better at putting.”
LeCroy’s teammate Harrison Hughston was equally impressive down the stretch. The Montevallo signee birdied his last three holes to wrap up a tournament career-best 4-under 68 – 15 shots better than his opening-round score – and jumped 16 places to finish seventh. 
He hit every fairway, missed only two greens and made six birdies. Combined, LeCroy and Hughston played the final seven holes in 8-under-par.

“I don’t know where it came from,” Hughston said. “Obviously golf’s a weird game. You can never judge where you’re at in on your game from one round. Yesterday I’m thinking I’ve got a lot of work to do and to come out today and just fire that, wow. I know I can do it, I’ve just got to put it together.”

White Plains won the team title by six shots over Russellville. Miller, the team’s No. 1 whose round wasn’t counted in the opening round, posted the Wildcats’ low round of the tournament (73) and wound up tying senior Gavin Burrage for their low man for the tournament.
“I saw a little bit of a mixture of anger and disappointment in Andrew Miller’s eyes and I told (assistant coach) Justin (Mallicoat) on the way to the course this morning he’s going low, he’s going to play good today,” Wildcats coach Chris Randall said. “He just played smart all day, controlled his swing. It was just clean. Andrew’s problem has been 16 good holes and two bad ones and today … was just a really clean day for him.”
The Wildcats also have won at the Blue-Gray Invitational in Montgomery and at Cross Creek in Cullman this year, and in all three victories they have had a different low man lead the way.

“That’s what makes us special,” Randall said. “A lot of people have two really good players or three, but we’ve got five and chances are we’re going to count four in the 70s. When you can count four in the 70s it’s going to take something special to beat you.”
Russellville made a run at them with medalist runner-up Eric Boutwell throwing up a 66 – the tournament’s best round – but the Tigers’ fourth counting score was an 88. They started the day four back of White Plains.
Miller was 4-over at one point in his round, then got it back to 1-over. Burrage was 3-under through five holes, slipped back to 1-over at the turn, but instead of panicking he kept his composure and made two birdies on the back. Jenkins was 6-over at the turn and played the back in even-par.

The Wildcats also counted a 74 from Burrage and 78s from Wesley Jenkins and Kenny Okins Saturday. All five of their players finished in the top 20.

“These guys are just so bunched up and it’s a good competitive spirit between them,” Randall said. “They don’t want to be that guy who doesn’t count. We didn’t count Gage Miller today, but I guarantee you he comes back when we go to Chesley Oaks after spring break and he’s under 75.
“Sometimes you have motivate kids, drag them; I’m chasing these people. Some people you have to drag across the finish line, I’m stretching and running as fast as I can to keep up with them.”

At Silver Lakes (Mindbreaker-Backbreaker)
Final scores
Team scores
White Plains Blue 308-303—611
Russellville 312-305—617
Northridge Black 323-313—636
Arab 332-328—660
Randolph 336-330—666
Northridge Blue 361-337—698
Donoho 361-338—699
Glencoe 346-371—717
Briarwood Christian 369-351—720
Hokes Bluff 366-355—721
Muscle Shoals 377-354—731
Pell City 381-351—733
White Plains White 384-376—760
Lauderdale County 395-395—790
Lawrence County 425-399—824
Top 20 Individuals
Jacob LeCroy, Donoho 69-70—139
Eric Boutwell, Russellville 75-66—141
Charles Warren, Randolph 75-72—147
Brock McNeely, Glencoe 73-75—148
Matthew Madden, Northridge Black 77-72—149
Jaceton Murray, Russellville 72-78—150
Harrison Hughston, Donoho 83-68—151
Mark Sawyer, Cedar Bluff 77-75—152
Nick Sawyer, Cedar Bluff 78-74—152
Brayden Bendall, Russellville 79-73—152
Gavin Burrage, White Plains Blue 79-74—153
Andrew Miller, White Plains Blue 80-73—153
Tanner Wilder, Pell City 77-76—153
Wesley Jenkins, White Plains Blue 77-78—155
Chris Kobringer, Randolph 78-77—155
Kenny Okins, White Plains Blue 78-78—156
Austin Burnham, Pell City 78-78—156
James Johnson, Arab 79-78—157
Gage Miller, White Plains Blue 74-86—160
Trey Cox, Northridge Black 78-83—161
Josh Darracott, Lauderdale County 80-81—161
Brooks Malone, Arab 81-80—161

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