Free helps Alabama men’s golf finish third at tourney

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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Selma’s Jones Free finished strong at the Mason Rudolph Championship to help the ninth-ranked Alabama men’s golf team make a top three finish.

Free, a former all-state golfer from Morgan Academy, and teammate Canon Claycomb ended the tournament in a tie for 19th overall.

Thomas Ponder finished in fifth-place with three consecutive sub-par rounds to post a 4-under par 209 (70-69-70), giving the Crimson Tide three top 20 finishes individually.

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The event was completed Sunday on the par 71, 7,112-yard Vanderbilt Legends South Course. 

The Crimson Tide finished the event with a score of even par 852 (292-279-281) on the way to the team’s fifth top-three tournament result in nine events on the season.

“We set our schedule to test us for the postseason and now we are here,” Alabama golf coach Jay Seawell said. “When you’re playing on the golf course of one of the top teams in the country in Vanderbilt, you have to be really sharp. We didn’t get off to a great start, but I am proud of how we bounced back from that to finish third. I feel like this week taught us a lesson we needed to learn and now we are off to postseason play.

Three seniors played their match for the Crimson Tide: JP Cave, Claycomb and Ponder. The trio have combined for nearly 120 career tournaments and 350 total rounds played.