Alabama finishes top five at Olympia Fields Invitational

Blake Byler, Contributing Writer

Alabama men’s golf earned a top five finish in Chicago at the Olympia Fields Invitational with a 15-over-par team total.

The tournament consisted of a loaded field, including 12 of the top 40 teams, according to the Bushnell/Golfweek Coaches Poll.

Alabama finished ahead of nationally ranked teams, including No. 4 Texas, No. 12 Baylor, No. 16 Florida State and No. 20 Florida. The Tide placed higher than defending national champion Pepperdine University.

Head coach Jay Seawell said he’s proud of his team’s performance and growth over the past two weeks. 

“We came to Olympia Fields, which is a major championship golf course, and accepted the challenge of playing alongside great teams,” Seawell said.

Sophomore JP Cave continued his stellar play from the Maui Jim Invitational. He topped that performance in Chicago, finishing individually as the tournament runner-up. Cave’s showing included a career-best 4-under-par round on Saturday.

Seawell said Cave grew as a player at the Olympia Fields Invitational. 

“JP grew right in front of my eyes and was incredible, especially these last two days,” Seawell said. 

He said Cave’s 7-under-par performance over the final two days of the tournament is “pretty elite stuff.”

Junior Canon Claycomb posted a top-20 finish with a tie for 17th. Junior Thomas Ponder tied for 17th along with Claycomb, making two consecutive top-20 finishes for Ponder.

Alabama’s performances rounded out with a tie for 69th from junior Tyler Lipscomb, and a tie for 73rd from junior Jack Goldasich.

Alabama will return back to its home state for SEC Match Play hosted by Jerry Pate. It will be held at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham on Oct. 10-12.