TAMPA — King High golfer Ajani Liggins isn’t feeling any pressure as he and the rest of the Lions team prepare to host next week’s Class 3A-District 10 tournament at Temple Terrace. The junior feels like he has his home course down.
Tuesday, in a quad match where King hosted Tampa Catholic, Jesuit and Chamberlain, the end result went the Crusaders’ way as TC topped King 18-21 in a one-hole playoff after both squads finished with a 151. But Liggins led the day individually with a 34, with home field in his favor.
“To represent the golf course is always my goal,” Liggins said. “I know how this course works, and I’ve been here three years, and now it comes down to going out and putting up a good score.”
A season ago, Liggins helped King reach the region tournament as the district runner-up by pacing the Lions with a 78, tying for third behind two seniors. This season, with the addition of a new class in FHSAA golf and some district restructuring, last year’s winning team Plant is no longer in the district, but King will have to contend with a tough Freedom team led by senior and Florida Southern commit Jimmy Jones.
“There is a ton of competition, and I know it’s going to be really challenging for us (as a team),” Liggins said. “I really want us to win a district title.”
Vinoy Classic offers one last district tune-up
Jesuit, Newsome and Tampa Catholic will travel to St. Petersburg to take part in the Vinoy Classic against some of the state’s best teams in an 18-hole tournament today.
The tournament gives the teams one more practice chance before entering next week’s district tournaments, moving from the nine-hole regular-season format to 18 holes from here on out.
Newsome, which just finished fourth at the Qdoba Invitational this past weekend, will get another look at Bradenton Lakewood Ranch, last season’s Class 2A state champion (both now compete in Class 3A).
The Wolves, led by senior and Florida Southern commit John Michael Coultas and junior Tyler Bakich, are the favorites for next Tuesday’s 3A-District 13 tournament at Summerfield Crossings.
Tampa Catholic made its first run to the state tournament in school history last season and has improved this season behind steady play from juniors Nilo Sanchez and seniors AJ Pascua and Joe Testerman.
The Crusaders have already played in a number of 18-hole tournaments this season, including top-five finishes in the Mustang and CCC invitational tournaments.
Jesuit, led by junior Matt Ruel and senior Joseph Trim, is just a week removed from a first-place team finish at the Mustang Invitational at Seminole Lake Country Club.
Also in the field at the Vinoy Classic will be Sunshine Athletic Conference tournament champion Mitchell, along with Clearwater Central Catholic, Countryside, East Lake, Palm Harbor University, Sarasota Christian, Sarasota Riverview, Seminole, Shorecrest and St. Petersburg High.