Men’s golf places top three, wins Rod Meyers Invitational


Courtesy of UA Athletics

The Alabama men’s golf team poses with their hardware after taking first place at the Rod Meyers Invitational on Sept. 10 at the Duke University Golf Club in Durham, N.C.

Blake Byler, Assistant Sports Editor

Alabama men’s golf opened the 2022-23 season in impressive fashion, winning the Rod Meyers Invitational on Saturday afternoon with a team score of 13-under-par. The Crimson Tide held an 11-stroke lead over the next closest team, Duke University, which hosted the 54-hole tournament. 

This marks the first team title Alabama has won since the Blessings Collegiate Invitational in October 2020. 

Alabama held a tie with North Florida through the 36-hole before recording a tournament-best 7-under-par score as a team in the final round of the tournament.  

“I am so proud of these guys,” senior Canon Claycomb said. “They are my family and I treat them as such, I would die for them and to finally get a win validates the feelings and validates why we wake up at dawn and work until dark.” 

Claycomb placed first individually, marking the second time in his career he has taken home first place at a collegiate tournament. The Kentucky native shot 11-under for the tournament, including an impressive 7-under-65 in his final round on Saturday. 

“Winning is always awesome,” Claycomb said. “I am especially proud of how I competed on the back nine today. I was frustrated the first two-and-a-half rounds because I was hitting it great but felt like I wasn’t making any putts. I kept telling myself they would go in eventually and they did. I’ve worked really hard the past year and I’m starting to see the results, but I am excited to continue working harder so that I can have this feeling more and more.” 

Claycomb has high expectations surrounding him this season after being ranked No. 16 in PGA Tour University’s Velocity Global Rankings before the season started.  

Junior Thomas Ponder placed second individually behind Claycomb, shooting 5-under for the tournament. The runner-up finish was the best of Ponder’s career, and the second top-five finish of his career. 

Behind Claycomb and Ponder, freshman Nick Dunlap finished tied for third in his first collegiate tournament, shooting 4-under-par. Dunlap is no stranger to high-level competition even as a freshman, as he competed in the U.S. Open as an amateur in June. Dunlap’s Alabama career is off to a strong start after coming in ranked as the top prep golfer in the nation. 

Other contributors for the Crimson Tide were sophomore Jones Free and senior Jack Goldasich, who finished tied for 37th and 65th, respectively. 

Alabama has a quick turnaround, traveling to Chicago next weekend to compete in the Olympia Fields Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational. The Crimson Tide competed in it last season and finished fifth, recording a 15-over-par team score.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]