E.A. Sports Today

State Am moving day

LeCroy shoots 68 for second day in a row, four off the lead; Hughston 1-under for championship

Noah Dennis of Trussville leads the State Am by one. On the cover, Anniston’s Harrison Hughston and coach/caddy Justin Pratt wait to play. (AGA photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

BESSEMER – It would have been easy for Jacob LeCroy to get frustrated with the way his front nine was going Friday in the 106th Alabama State Am. He was playing good golf, just making par after par and not making a move.

But he didn’t worry about it. He figured it was going to come to him eventually – and it did.

LeCroy made three birdies on the back nine at Bent Brook Golf Course to shoot 68 for the second day in a row and position himself for a run at the lead in Saturday’s final round. His three-day total of 207 is four shots behind 54-hole leader Noah Dennis of Trussville.

Dennis shot 66 for the second day in a row and holds a one-shot lead over four players. Harrison Hughston, the other Anniston player to make the cut, shot even-par 71 and is among seven players T-26, nine shots off the lead.

“It was a good day,” LeCroy said. “It was the worst I was going to shoot, which is always a good thing. I played some really good golf today. To go a whole 18 holes without a bogey is really awesome.”

After making nine straight pars to start, the round turned with a birdie on 10. He also birdied 12 and 17. He has played the back nine in 6-under this week. He had a birdie, two eagles and a double bogey on the front Thursday and three bogeys and a birdie on the side Wednesday.

“I let it come to me; you can’t force anything out there,” he said. “It ended up coming to me eventually. I had some really good putts coming in down the stretch and didn’t make anything, but that was OK. You can’t make them all, but I’m ready for one day to have that little bust-out round. Hopefully tomorrow, that’s the last chance I’ve got.”

Dennis leads Connor Newton of Auburn, Max Johnson of Lillian, Trey Rouse of Homewood and Brantley Scott of Dothan by one. Five other players are two shots back, including Ethan Hagood of Hoover, who had a hole-in-one on No. 14.

“I’m so ready for tomorrow,” LeCroy said. “I just want to see what I can get out there and do. I’m only four shots back. I honestly believe I can catch up if I have one of those break-out rounds. It’s coming. I hope it comes tomorrow. Someone’s going to do it, why not me?”

Hughston, meanwhile, birdied two of his first three holes, then went through a rough patch on 6 and 7, but played his last 11 holes in 2-under par.

“It could have been a good round, it just wasn’t my day,” he said. “There were a few tough breaks; things just didn’t fall my way.”

106th Alabama State Am

At Bent Brook GC (par 71)
Noah Dennis, Trussville716666203
Connor Newton, Auburn676968204
Max Johnson, Lillian667068204
Trey Rouse, Homewood637071204
Brantley Scott, Dothan706569204
5 tied at 206
T-11 Jacob LeCroy, Munford716868207
T-26 Harrison Hughston, Anniston717071212
Harrison Hughston played his final 11 holes of the day in 2-under-par and posted his second 71 of the championship. (AGA photo)

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