Norman celebrates birthday with Sun Belt title

Published 4:47 pm Friday, April 29, 2016

Cam Norman got a better birthday present than usual Wednesday as he and the Troy men’s golf team claimed a sun belt championship after a miraculous last-minute comeback.

Cam Norman got a better birthday present than usual Wednesday as he and the Troy men’s golf team claimed a sun belt championship after a miraculous last-minute comeback. (Submitted photo)

All week long, people had been asking Troy University men’s golf team member and Greenville resident Cam Norman what he wanted for his birthday.

His only response?  “A conference championship.”

Courtesy of a fairytale ending to the Sun Belt Men’s Golf Championship, held Wednesday at the Raven Golf Club in Florida, Norman got exactly what he asked for.

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According to Norman, only two feet separated the No. 2 Troy men’s golf team and the No. 1 seed Georgia State, and he’d already resigned to throw in the towel when a miracle happened.

“We definitely knew we had a good chance to win.  However, right there at the end coming down to our last match, the other team had basically a two-footer to beat us,” Norman said.

“So when he missed it, and then in the playoff we win, it definitely felt weird because it looked almost certain that we were going to lose that last match.”

Just before Georgia State’s Alexander Herrmann missed his two-footer, a million thoughts flooded Norman’s mind about what could’ve been.

“At that last moment thinking we had lost, I was just thinking of all the shots I wish I could have replayed that could have changed the outcome of my match,” Norman said.

“We were also in a group ready to congratulate the other team.  So we were shocked when he missed.”

Norman said that the sudden change in momentum provided a huge boost to his teammate, Luke Moser, which led to him making a birdie on the first playoff hole that secured Troy’s championship.

And though Norman was pleased with the outcome on the day, it also proved that there is still room for growth within his own personal play.

“I was super disappointed with my play in the first three rounds,” Norman said.

“I had played well leading up to the event, and just started hitting it bad when the tournament started.

“Once we made it to match play, it gave me a new mindset, though—like a fresh start.  So during the two rounds of match play, I hit the ball really well.  I played solid the entire day, unfortunately losing both of my matches on the 18th hole.”

Norman’s pair of losses proved a humbling but an invaluable experience.

“I was definitely bummed I lost my matches, but had to remind myself that the two guys I played against in match play finished the stroke portion with one placing first and the other placing seventh,” Norman said.

“So I was definitely facing some strong players and I played them tough, but unfortunately I came up just short in both matches.  Thankfully, my team came through with their matches and got us the championship.”

The entire tournament experience as a whole also served as a major confidence boost for Norman moving forward.

“We got the win in my first time playing in a conference championship, so that was awesome,” Norman said.

“Also, it just gave me the confidence to know I can compete with the best, and also that my team can compete with the best.  That was our third win this season, so we definitely have a lot of confidence going into the regional tournament.”

Norman and the rest of the men’s golf team will aim for their fourth victory as the regional tournament is slated for May 16-18.