E.A. Sports Today

Local golf notes

LeCroy eager to get back on course after big finish to conference tournament round, Gadsden CC welcomes new pro, Lett just misses in U.S. Open qualifying 

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Jacob LeCroy was lounging in his hotel room munching on chicken fingers as the rain outside pounded against the window pane.

There was no golf Monday in the Sun Belt Conference Championship at Mystic Creek in El Dorado, Ark., and it left the South Alabama golfer from Anniston wrestling with his emotions.

Part of him was glad for the rest after walking 36 holes – a hard 36 holes – around the golf course the day before. But after shooting 69 on “the hardest course I’ve ever played” part of him wanted to get right back out there and play.

“I’m a fan of the break because walking 36 is rough,” LeCroy said. “My feet are hurting, but it was fun.

“I was wanting to play today. If we did, the conditions would have been insane today. It’s not going to be easy tomorrow.”

The SBC anticipated the bad weather and made Sunday’s opening round a 36-hole start. They’ll complete the stroke play portion Tuesday with the top four teams advancing to match play for the conference championship and NCAA automatic bid. The Jags are currently seventh, five shots out of fourth. Six shots separate fourth from eighth.

LeCroy’s 69 was the best score of the day – either round – and vaulted him some 20 places into a six-way tie for fourth, three shots out of the lead. He shot 77 in the opening round after a bogey-bogey-bogey start from the middle of the fairway.

Last year, in tighter conditions, he posted rounds here of 83-75-85. They made the greens “a shade” slower and had more grass around them, but it was still plenty tough. LeCroy likened every hole to No. 3 on Silver Lakes’ Mindbreaker 9 in terms of limited room for error.

He was 7-over through his first 27 holes, then played the back nine in Round 2 in 5-under with birdies on 11, 12, 14, 15 and 18. He had birdies putts inside six feet on 8 and 9 and a 20-foot eagle putt on 18.

“It was definitely some of the best golf I’ve ever played and to do it out there was awesome,” he said. “It wasn’t easy out there.

“It was exciting. This semester I have not played great, just playing average golf, just kind of getting it around. It was nice to see that yesterday because you really had to get out there and golf it.”

Ohrn in at Gadsden CC

Gadsden Country Club welcomed FarmLinks director of golf Curtis Ohrn as its new head pro Monday.

The club had been looking for a new man since Matt Ganshaw left to become director of golf at the RTJ Trail Magnolia Grove facility in Mobile. Local pro Buster Inman had been helping them in the interim.

It had nearly two dozen applicants for the job, interviewed five and the 36-year-old Texas native emerged as “the obvious choice.” Ohrn had been at FarmLinks since 2015 and spent eight years at Shoal Creek before that.

“The way he’s come up, we feel like he’s our guy,” said Dane Moore, chairman of the club’s golf committee. “We told him we want him to be a member’s pro, come out there and play with us, have a good time.”

Ohrn is an accomplished player. He played his college golf at Nicholls State and is currently No. 11 in the Alabama-NW Florida Section player of the year standings. He finished eighth in the season’s first stroke play series event at Tiger Point.

He’ll also be instrumental in the club’s effort to bring its invitational back to elite status. This year’s Invitational, the eighth event on this year’s Calhoun County Golf Tour schedule, is Aug. 12-14.

The club will have several opportunities to show off the course to a statewide audience, hosting the State Senior Championship May 20-22 and a future State Mid-Amateur Championship.

Oh so close

Cider Ridge director of golf Jammie Lett birdied three of his last five holes to shoot even-par 70 in the first stage of U.S. Open qualifying at Marietta Country Club Monday and got bumped from a playoff for a chance to advance when a late-finishing player made a 30-foot putt on the last hole.

He birdied 14, 16 and 18 coming home and had a hard lip out for birdie on 17.

How tight is the margin in these things? It’s the third time Lett has missed it by one, the second time at Marietta CC.

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