Alabama men’s golf shakes off early struggles, places 10th overall

Blake Byler, Contributing Writer

Alabama men’s golf began its season on Friday, Sept. 10 at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate in Scottsdale, Arizona. After three days of competition, the team tied for 10th place overall. 

The Crimson Tide opened the tournament with a rough 7-over-par performance on Friday, but showed resilience throughout the weekend. They improved on Saturday at 3-over and finished strong with a 6-under round on Sunday.

“I thought our guys did a good job of responding and getting better,” head coach Jay Seawell said.

Alabama juniors Thomas Ponder, Tyler Lipscomb and Canon Claycomb had career-best performances at the invitational. 

Ponder shot a career-best 6-under-par 206 for the weekend. He also shot three straight rounds under 70 for the first time in his career. Ponder tied for 19th. 

Lipscomb had a career-best round and finished with a 67 on Saturday. He tied for 46th at the end of the tournament and scored the team’s only eagle of the weekend.  

Claycomb had a career day on Sunday. He shot a career-best 18 hole score of 6-under, and his impressive round included seven birdies. He tied for 52nd.

Alabama received good contributions from sophomore JP Cave and junior Jack Goldasich. They tied for 69th and 74th, respectively.

Transfer student Dillon West made his debut this weekend for the Tide, competing individually with a tie for 58th.

Seawell saw many things he liked this weekend, especially the team’s response after a difficult first round on Friday, and said he’s optimistic for the rest of the season. 

“It’s a long year, and this is the first tournament,” Seawall said. “If our guys continue to grow every day like they did the last two, then I think we have a chance to be pretty good.”

Alabama has an opportunity to continue that growth this weekend. The Tide will travel to Chicago for the Olympia Fields Invitational Sept. 17-19.