Ponder Tied for Clubhouse Lead, Alabama in Second after Opening Round of SEC Men’s Golf Championships - University of Alabama Athletics
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Alabama golfer Thomas Ponder carded a career-best 18-hole score of 6-under par 64, which included his first career hole-in-one, to lead
Thomas Ponder recorded a hole-in-one to go along with five birdies on the day, while Canon Claycomb tied for fifth overall to lead the Crimson Tide individuals in round one.ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Alabama golfer Thomas Ponder carded a career-best 18-hole score of 6-under par 64, which included his first career hole-in-one, to lead the men's golf team day one of the 2023 Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championships. As a team, the Crimson Tide had a team score of 10-under par 270 and is second place overall entering Thursday's second round of play.
Ponder's day was highlighted by five birdies in addition to his first career ace which came on the 176-yard par 3 17th hole. He also added just one bogey to result in his 6-under par total in round one. Ponder is tied with Caleb Surratt of Tennessee for the overall lead, one stroke better than Texas A&M's Sam Bennett (-5).
Canon Claycomb also had a solid start to the championship following his round of 3-under par 67 Wednesday. It marked his team-leading 21st round of par or better this season and his 11th time shooting in the 60s.
The tournament's second round on the par 70, 7,005-yard Sea Island Golf Club Seaside Course will tee off Thursday morning. All 14 schools from the SEC will compete in a 54-hole, stroke-play format with the top eight teams advancing to Saturday's match-play quarterfinals.
Live scoring can be found throughout the event on Golfstat.com, with the Sunday's championship match being televised live on SEC Network.
Round One Highlights
- Thomas Ponder earned his 19th round of par or better and 10th round in the 60s with his performance in round one
- Ponder used a 7-iron from 176 yards out on the 17th hole, collecting his first-ever hole-in-one during competition
- In addition to the hole-in-one, Ponder finished with five birdies and a bogey to result in the round of 64, which topped his previous best round of 65 which he set on several occasions
- Claycomb carded a score of par or better for the 21st time in 28 total rounds played this season and is among a group of six who are three shots behind the leaders
- Claycomb collected five birdies on the day to go along with a pair of bogeys
- Freshmen Nick Dunlap (-1, 69) and Jonathan Griz (E, 70) carded rounds of par or better to end the day in a tie for 23rd and 35th, respectively
- JP Cave rounded out the Crimson Tide starting lineup at 7-over par and in a tie for 67th overall
- No. 15 Texas A&M (-11) holds a one-stroke lead over the 17th-ranked Crimson Tide
- No. 8 Auburn (-8) is in third, followed by No. 18 Mississippi State (-5), No. 21 Ole Miss (-5), No. 1 Vanderbilt (-4) and No. 9 Florida (-3) to round out the top seven teams
- This year's SEC Championship field features seven teams that are ranked inside the nation's top-20, according to Golfstat.com
- The team championship will be awarded to the winners of match play, while the individual medalist and runner up will be awarded based on stroke play
- Alabama will tee off Thursday's second round action at 8:40 a.m. CT off Hole No. 1
- The Tide will be paired alongside Texas A&M and Auburn during round two
- Live stats available on Golfstat.com throughout the championship