Saturday was a continuation of the Jacob Harper and Jacob LeCroy show in the Championship A flight of the Sunny King Charity Classic golf tournament.
With Harper-LeCroy posting a 16-under 56 on day two at Cider Ridge, the partners seem unstoppable in the annual tournament. They're boasting a 36-under total of 108 heading into today’s final round at Anniston Country Club, which leads by four strokes.
“It’s fun playing with a target on your back,” Harper said. “I like it.”
Added LeCroy: “We are just trying to play good golf and let putts fall.”
Playing good golf doesn’t seem to be an issue for the Sunny King rookies, but both acknowledged a higher level of difficulty in Saturday’s round because of the modified scamble format … and mother nature.
“We played 12 holes without a breeze probably, but after that, got a little breezy, got a little rain,” Harper said, “slowed the greens down a little bit.”
According to Harper, Friday’s record-breaking performance at Silver Lakes was “a little more fun.” And not just because of the team’s whopping 20-under score.
“We didn’t get to have as much fun today,” Harper said Saturday. “They just went in from everywhere yesterday. Today we had to grind.”
Apparently, the grinding worked because the only team within seven strokes of Harper-LeCroy is Logan and Randy Archer with a 32-under 112 0 — four strokes out of first place.
The third-place team Caleb Bowen and Cory Etter finished day two 14-under par at 58, contributing to a total score of 115.
“I feel good about how we are finishing,” Bowen said. “We always seem to play well here.”
Bowen-Etter started on the back nine and faced some initial pressure after hitting the first ball in to a hazard, but were able to make up some ground after that.
“Overall, we birdied some of the same holes. I had nine birdies and Cory had nine birdies and an eagle total,” Bowen said.
Though Cider Ridge is Bowen’s favorite course to play, the pair is looking forward to the final day of the tournament because they are the most familiar with the Anniston Country Club course.
“We do have a little advantage of course knowledge over half of them, but apparently that doesn’t matter too much because (Harper) is a stud,” Bowen laughed.
Bowen isn’t the only one impressed by Harper’s performance. Tied for fourth place with Cody Robinson and Barrett Waters, Jeremy McGatha and Brennan Clay described Harper’s play in the first two rounds as “unbelievable.”
“Harper is the best player in this tournament. He’s good,” Clay said. “They have been just about perfect.”
While McGatha-Clay and Robinson-Waters hold an overall score of 116 after both shooting 12-under par Saturday, Clay acknowledged that the chances of his team surpassing Harper-LeCroy are pretty slim.
“I like to see points, but when you’re getting your butt beat by it, it sucks,” Clay said. “They busted our two-round record.”
Clay was referring to his performance with McGatha in 2015, where the pair was 32 under heading into the final day of the tournament. While the two didn’t secure the Sunny King championship that year, they did earn a second-place finish.
If today’s round goes as expected, Harper-LeCroy will not have the same second-place fate as McGatha-Clay did four years ago. Their 36-under score is another tourney record.
Harper-LeCroy could potentially break the all-time Sunny King record of 43 under set by Ty Cole and Gary Wigington in 2016. For some, that possibility could be nerve-wracking, but for LeCroy and Harper, they’re just playing their game.
“We haven’t thought one thing about that,” LeCroy said Saturday. “Hopefully, after the round tomorrow that will be something to think about if that’s the case.”
Reigning three-year Sunny King champions Wigington-Cole are heading into the final round in sixth place with 117 overall.