Men’s golf finishes top-5, defeats Georgia in SEC Match Play


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama’s Canon Claycomb celebrates a winning swing in SEC Match Play on Sept. 27 at Old Overton Club in Vestavia Hills, Ala.

Blake Byler, Assistant Sports Editor

Alabama men’s golf once again shook off a difficult first day and finished in the top-five of the stroke-play portion of SEC Match Play hosted by Jerry Pate. The Crimson Tide followed up its top-five finish with a 3-2 victory over No. 4 Georgia in the match play portion on Tuesday. 

SEC Match Play consists of 54 holes of stroke play to determine seeding for head-to-head match play on the final day of the tournament.  

Competing at Old Overton Club in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, the Crimson Tide sat in ninth place out of 13 teams after 36 holes on Sunday. The team followed that up with a team-best 11-under-par score in a single round on Monday, surging into fifth place before the match play portion. 

Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said he was proud of the way his team performed against stellar competition. 

“The SEC is the best conference and going up against so many great teams is a great test for us,” Seawell said. “Overall, it was a win for everybody involved in this tournament.” 

Freshman Nick Dunlap continued his outstanding start to his collegiate career, this time pacing the Crimson Tide at 9-under-par with three rounds under 70 in stroke play followed by a victory in his first-ever match play appearance. Dunlap finished tied for seventh individually in stroke play. 

Senior Thomas Ponder fell in his match but was Alabama’s second-place finisher in stroke play with a 5-under-par 17th place finish.  

Senior Canon Claycomb, who has been Alabama’s most consistent golfer this season, finished stroke play tied for 21st. Claycomb followed that up with a chip-in on the 16th hole to give the Crimson Tide its third point of the match and secure the victory over Georgia. Claycomb now holds a 5-2-1 record in head-to-heads in his time at Alabama.  

“That was a cool way to finish and to do that in front of our fans that were here was really nice,” Seawell said. “It was a great chip from Canon, very difficult, but it’s something that he works on every day in practice. To see him pull it off under pressure was good for him and for our team.” 

This marks the second season in a row that an Alabama player has made a chip-in to clinch a victory in match play. Last season, then-freshman Jones Free chipped in to secure a victory over Florida in the same tournament. 

Junior JP Cave and senior Tyler Lipscomb both made their 2022-23 debuts this week. Cave won his match to bring his career head-to-head win total up to five, while Lipscomb fell in his match.  

Alabama has one event remaining on its fall schedule, being the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate in Alpharetta, Georgia, which will take place from Oct. 21-23.

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