Alabama golf finishes SEC Match 3-1

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Courtesy of UA Athletics

Jones Free chipped-in for birdie on the 18th hole to secure a 3-2 win over Ole Miss in Tuesday’s final round of SEC Match Play.

Blake Byler, Contributing Writer

Alabama men’s golf made the short trip to Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama on Oct. 10 for three days of SEC Match Play and left with a 3-1 record. 

The Crimson Tide opened with a loss to LSU on Sunday with a 2-1-2 decision but rebounded after the loss. 

On Monday, Alabama picked up two wins over Florida and South Carolina, 3-2 and 4-1 respectively. Sophomore JP Cave was Alabama’s only golfer through two days to remain undefeated. Cave won his matches against Florida and South Carolina and tied in his matchup against LSU.

Junior Canon Claycomb posted a strong performance on Monday against South Carolina, defeating PGA Tour U golfer Ryan Hall for Alabama’s fourth point of the match.

On Tuesday, Alabama defeated Ole Miss 3-2 for its third victory of the tournament. Cave and Claycomb secured their wins early in the day. This led to freshman Jones Free making a chip for birdie on the 18th hole, giving Alabama the victory.

SEC Match Play was Free’s first action for the Tide this season.

“There was definitely a lot of pressure, but my teammates had my back the whole way, and it’s been a lot of fun,” Free said.

Alabama head coach Jay Seawell admired Free’s effort. 

“He was doing what freshmen do,” Seawell said. “To his credit, he’s not scared. His opponent hit a great second shot, and Jones needed to hit a great chip, and that’s exactly what he did.”

Seawell also commended the team’s response after their loss against LSU. 

“We lost a heartbreaker to LSU on the 19th hole, and the guys responded,” Seawell said. “They accepted the challenge that they wanted to learn and to win, and to their credit they did a really good job.”

Next for the Crimson Tide is the final tournament of the fall season, the Jackson T. Stephens Cup in Little Rock, Arkansas, from Oct. 18 to 20. 

Questions? Email the Sports desk at sports@cw.ua.edu.