COLLEGE GROVE, Tennessee – Cam Norman fired a 5-under 67 and Troy shot 2-under as a team in opening round of the NCAA College Grove Regional at The Grove; the Trojans are in third place overall following 18 holes and Norman is tied for third individually.
The top five teams and the top individual on a non-qualifying team following 54 holes will advance into the NCAA Championship field. No. 2 Vanderbilt, who entered as the top seed in the Regional, shot 9-under to lead the field, while No. 47 Central Florida is in second at 3-under. No. 39 Kennesaw State is a shot back of Troy in fourth and No. 14 Clemson holds down the final qualifying spot at even par.
Norman carded eight birdies on the day – the second most in the field – to go along with eight pars, one bogey and one double-bogey. With Troy starting on the back nine, Norman raced to 4-under with four birdies before making the turn. He capped a run of three-straight birdies with red numbers on his first two holes after making the turn.
A wicked par-3 was responsible for his first bogey of the day, but he quickly responded with a birdie two holes later. After finding the water on No. 6, Norman closed out the day with a birdie on No. 9 for his 10th round under par and sixth in the 60s this season.
Luke Moser turned in a steady round for the Trojans as he finished tied for 17th overall after shooting even on the day. He made the turn at 1-over after a birdie and a pair of bogeys. Moser then found himself 2-over after a bogey on No. 3; however, he strung together three nice pars before birding two of his final three holes.
Troy finished the day with 21 birdies as a team, second only to Vanderbilt’s 26, and the Trojans took advantage on their par 3 and par 5 opportunities. Troy played the par 5 holes to a collective 4-under and the par 3 holes at 1-under.
Calum Masters was steady throughout his round as he never got more than 1-over par and finished the round tied for 24th after shooting a 1-over 73. He made the turn even and traded birdies for bogeys over the first four holes on the front of the course before a bogey on No. 9 pushed him into the black for the round.
Jared Bettcher shot a 2-over 74 and finished the day tied for 34th place after playing both sides of the course at 1-over. He quickly went 2-over on the day with bogeys on his first two holes but bounced back with birdies on No. 15 and No. 16.
Clayton Vannoy rounded out the field for the Trojans in a tie for 54th place with a 5-over 77. After making the turn 3-over, Vannoy rebounded strong with birdies on No. 2 and No. 3 to get within a stroke of par. However, a string of three straight bogeys pushed his card to 77 on the day.
Troy will be in the final pairing for second round and will tee off beginning at on the front nine along with Vanderbilt and Central Florida.
Quotable - Head Coach Matt Terry
“I was really pleased, we made a few mistakes out there, but overall really steady. The guys did exactly what they needed to today – put themselves in a good position.
“Cam’s round was huge and all-in-all he really just had two bad swings on the day. He kept his head in it and never got up or down; I was probably more excited than him out there walking around. He showed in match play at conference that he could hit shots under pressure.
Quotable – Senior Cam Norman
“I putted really well and Coach Terry walked with me all day and we played smart golf. Having four seniors we knew we couldn’t come out flat like we did last year and everybody answered the call today and put us in a good position heading into the final 36 holes.
1. Vanderbilt 279, 2. Central Florida 285, 3. Troy 286, 4. Kennesaw State 287, 4. Clemson 288, 6. Middle Tennessee 289, 7. Georgia 294, T8. TCU 295, T8. East Tennessee State 295, T8 Lipscomb 295, 11. Missouri 296, T12. Texas Tech 299, T12. Harvard 299
T3. Cam Norman 67, T17. Luke Moser 72, T24. Calum Masters 73, T34. Jared Bettcher 74, T54. Clayton Vannoy 77