Norman makes Troy history at NCAA Golf Championship
When Greenville native Cam Norman entered the NCAA Golf Championship, he did so while ranked No. 316 on a national level.
So when he finished the tournament while tied for 23rd place, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say he exceeded a number of spectators’ expectations.
But not his own.
“Even though my ranking was 316th, I thought going into the tournament that I could win it,” Norman said.
“I think the confidence from coming 6th at regionals probably made me believe even more than usual that I could win it.”
And though Norman didn’t win the whole thing, he walked away with another sizeable milestone.
While shooting 1-over 289 at Rich Harvest Farms, he earned the distinction of having the best individual performance in Troy’s Division I men’s golf history.
“To have the best finish at an NCAA Championship at the Division I level for Troy is extremely special to me,” Norman said.
“So it feels awesome to have accomplished something as big as that.”
Troy head men’s golf coach Matt Terry was similarly proud of the accomplishment.
“Cam represented himself, our golf program and Troy University in a first-class manner all weekend long,” Terry said.
“To finish in the top 25 at the NCAA Championship is a truly remarkable accomplishment and one that Cam should be very proud of. What he did this weekend was no fluke. He went toe-to-toe with the best golfers in the nation for 72 holes and proved that he belonged in this field.”
The competitors were one thing, and the gauntlet of 72 holes was another. But perhaps the biggest and most surprising factor of the tournament, according to Norman, was the factors beyond the green—namely, the sizeable crowd, and the college-football-like atmosphere it created amid the typically quiet scenery.
“There were so many fans compared to an average college tournament,” he said.
“So any time a birdie was made, or even just a good shot, there was lots of clapping. So it was a fun atmosphere.
“Little kids were out with parents watching tournaments, and I even signed two autographs for kids so just having so many fans at the tournament made the atmosphere different, but special.”
And like any other spectator sport, Norman said he believes the crowd played a factor at points.
“Looking back, I would say they definitely enhanced my game,” he added. “It adds nerves, but sometimes nerves can be good and add a little focus and make you perform at a higher level. I think that is what happened to me.”
Though collegiate golf has come to a close for him, he’s hardly done with the sport.
“Now that my college career is over, I will keep playing golf at the professional level,” he said.
“I will start out playing events on the Emerald Coast Tour and other small mini-tours, until the qualifying school comes around for the Web.com tour, and I will try for that.”