TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Despite making 61 birdies in three rounds, Alabama finished in ninth place at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate this week.
Hard to Overcome
Head Coach Jay Seawell attributed rough holes to this week’s lackluster finish.
“We had too many big numbers and there is a fine line when it comes to doing the things that are needed to win at this level,” Seawell said.
Despite making the third-most birdies in the field, Alabama had 13 doubles or worse over the course of 54-holes. They would finish last in the field in par-4 scoring.
The Tide also had some uncharacteristic rounds from its top performers.
Canon Claycomb, who has been Alabama’s top player so far this season, struggled to find a rhythm this week. Rounds of 76-75-75 gave Claycomb his first finish outside the top 25 this season.
Thomas Ponder, who had yet to place outside the top 20, finished T30 (72-74-70, E).
Finally, JP Cave tied for 50th (72-74-77) in his first appearance for Alabama this season.
There were positives for the Crimson Tide this week, however.
True freshmen Nick Dunlap and Jonathan Griz both finished T15, albeit in completely different fashions.
Dunlap opened the week as the solo leader after a stunning round of 65. His near-perfect round one featured eight birdies and just a single bogey.
The season-low round is just another accomplishment for the talented freshman, who has finished no worse than T15 in his debut semester for the Crimson Tide.
His fellow freshman, Griz, showed a lot of promise with his final two rounds on the weekend. His rounds of 70-69 featured just three bogeys. This week marked his first start since finishing T62 at the Fighting Illini Invitational.
Tough End to Fantastic Fall
Although this week might not have gone the way the Crimson Tide expected, they still managed to put together a successful Fall season.
After opening with a win at the Rod Meyers Invitational, Alabama tallied 5th-place finishes in back-to-back appearances.
“Even though it was an unsuccessful week, it’s not going to diminish the improvement our guys made throughout the fall season,” Seawell said.
“Their hard work showed off and I think we are capable of becoming a very good team come next spring. We are going to continue to work hard in the offseason and make sure we are doing the things that are needed so that we reach the goals our team has set for the spring season.”
Alabama won’t return to play until the John Hayt Intercollegiate in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. from Feb. 5-6.
Follow Nicholas Pursley on Twitter @nicholaspursley for 24/7 coverage of Alabama golf.