Every year, hundreds of golfers gather on the green for the Sunny King Charity Classic. Some are playing competitively, but many enjoy simply socializing and having fun.
As for recent Donoho School graduate Jacob LeCroy, the golf tournament is his last big hit before moving up to the next level — starting school this fall at South Alabama and playing for the Jaguars’ golf team.
“I’m not necessarily preparing for it,” LeCroy said of the Sunny King Classic. “It’s just I play golf every single day.”
Coming off back-to-back AHSAA individual titles in Class 1A-2A, LeCroy said he has been playing well lately, describing his recent performance in the state championship as “the best he’s ever played.” Heading into this weekend’s tournament, LeCroy is simply looking forward to playing on the local courses.
“I remember when I was really young, I’d come out here and watch all the good golfers from around here,” LeCroy said. “I’ve always remembered that and always wanted to be in that position.”
LeCroy last played in the Sunny King as a 13-year-old with his father, but has not been able to play since then because of conflicts with other junior tournaments that allowed him more collegiate exposure.
“This is obviously the biggest tournament around here, but for colleges and stuff like that, I was looking more toward getting my name out there that way instead of through the Sunny King,” LeCroy said.
LeCroy secured his partner, former Troy standout Jacob Harper, in December, and the two began playing together shortly after. The duo plans to practice before the tournament this weekend so Harper can learn the Cider Ridge course and, in turn, LeCroy can learn from Harper’s experience.
“He knows a lot more about golf than I do,” LeCroy said. “I’m really going to get to pick his brain. We’re just going to keep playing and working on our game.”
With Harper having won golf tournaments at various levels, LeCroy values the advice and lessons he can get from playing with someone who is on the path he intends to follow. Eventually, LeCroy wants to play professional golf.
“You just learn how people think,” LeCroy said. “I know a lot about how the next level already thinks, but it will just give me a boost of learning heading into college instead of learning the skills during college or after college.”
LeCroy said he is excited for the competition that comes with playing at the collegiate level. Though he will be playing golf for South Alabama, he is not guaranteed a spot on the five-man team that attends tournaments.
“You’ve got nine or 10 good golfers out there, and every week they’re playing for a spot,” LeCroy said. “They can all golf their ball very well. I’m just hoping to get out there and if I don’t make the team then I’m not good enough to make the team.”
In the meantime, LeCroy is focusing on his first real year competing in the Sunny King Classic and hoping to add another championship to his resume before heading to Mobile for college.
“We’re just going to go out there and golf,” LeCroy said. “We’re not going to be nervous or anything. We’re going to go out there, have a good time and hope to win.”