TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men’s golf team could not have dreamed up a better start to their season than what took place in Durham, North Carolina over the weekend.

The Crimson Tide captured the Rod Meyers Invitational by 11 shots on Saturday, spearheaded by a sweep of the podium by Alabama’s top three players.

The team victory marks Alabama’s first since October of 2020, something that Senior Canon Claycomb didn’t take for granted.

“To finally get a win validates the feelings and validates why we wake up at dawn and work until dark.”

“I haven’t been a part of a team win since I’ve been at school, so this is something I’ve been waiting on, and it feels even better than the individual win.”

En route to that win, Claycomb put together a masterful performance in the final round.

His 65 matched the low round of the week, enabling him to separate from the pack and take home the individual trophy by six shots.

Claycomb fired off six birdies on the back-nine, including four in a five-hole stretch, to capture his second collegiate victory.

“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,” said Claycomb following the win.

And while the Tide’s leading scorer is excited after the win, he doesn’t plan on stopping here.

“I’ve worked really hard the past year and I’m starting to see the results, but am excited to continue working harder so that I can have this feeling more and more.”

A major aspect of the Tide’s runaway victory was Claycomb’s compatriots: senior Thomas Ponder and true freshman Nick Dunlap.

The duo finished second and T3 respectively to send Alabama home with the hardware.

Ponder, who had the Tide’s second-lowest scoring average in 2021-22, delivered yet another consistent performance.

He was one of only two golfers to shoot under-par in each of the three rounds this week at Duke University Golf Club on his way to a solo second finish (-5).

Alabama also benefited from a great comeback from the true freshman Dunlap.

Despite opening his collegiate career with a two-over par 74 on Friday, the 2021 U.S. Junior Am champion fired off back-to-back rounds of 69 to elevate himself into a T3 finish (-4).

Sophomore Jones Free finished T37 for the week (+3), while Senior Jack Goldasich finished T65 (+10).

The Alabama men’s golf team will tee it up next at the Fighting Illini Invitational in Olympia Fields, Illinois from Sept. 16-18.


Follow Nicholas Pursley on Twitter @nicholaspursley for 24/7 coverage of Alabama Men’s Golf.