Alabama notches first win of the post-Dunlap era

Screenshot 2024-03-20 at 9.44.16 AM.png
Screenshot 2024-03-20 at 9.44.16 AM.png

Not done yet.

Alabama is starting to get used to life after Nick Dunlap, as the Crimson Tide, fresh off a runner-up showing at The Hayt, turned in a dominant performance this week at the Linger Longer Invitational. Paced by Jonathan Griz’s first college win and two other podium finishes by J.P. Cave (runner-up) and Canon Claycomb (third), Alabama finished at 40 under for the 11-shot victory on Tuesday at Reynolds Plantation’s Great Waters Golf Course.

“I am just really proud of this team,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. “They continue to grow and respond to challenges in from of them. I am very excited for Griz. He has worked so hard to has continued to believe in the plan we have for him.”

Dunlap was the top-ranked player in the country when he won the PGA Tour’s American Express in January and then opted to turn professional. In its first event without Dunlap, Alabama finished 10th and beat just two teams at the Watersound Invitational, where the Tide carded the worst score of the tournament (sans last-place Penn) in the second round. A day later, Seawell said, “Yesterday may have been our identity for this event, but it's not going to be our identity for this year.”

He was right. Claycomb contended for the individual title at The Hayt, where Alabama ended up just four shots shy of No. 1 North Carolina. And at Linger Longer, the Tide had all five players under par for the first time all season.

Griz, a former blue-chip prospect in Dunlap's class and who posted his best college finish to date at The Hayt (T-6), opened in 10-under 62 on Sunday and held on for a three-shot win at 13 under.

Virginia, Georgia, Georgia Tech and UNCG rounded out the top five on the team side.