Tigers’ Norman reaches districts in first golf season
Last year at this time golf was barely on Cole Norman’s mind.
This year he is one of a select group of high school players to qualify for the District 11 Championship Tournament Monday at Lehigh Country Club.
Norman qualified for districts by taking third place at last week’s Colonial League Championship at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Cousre.
The Northwestern senior played one of the best rounds of his young career to shoot 84 and earn third place at leagues.
“I played great,” Norman said. “The season has been kind of up and down for me. My first time playing 18 holes was this summer.”
Norman works part-time at Olde Homestead Golf Course, where Tiger head coach Tim Miller is the pro. For the past couple years Miller urged the year-round lacrosse player to give golf a try. And Norman had always wanted to, but just couldn’t find the time until his senior year.
“Tim was always trying to get me to come out,” he said. “I usually go on vacation the same week as try outs. I told myself I wanted to do it after try outs last year like I had every year.
“I played this summer. I’ve hit balls in the past. I went out and played with one of my buddies and really enjoyed it.”
Miller was a regular in the Tigers’ line up this season. He shot 76 in on his best day, and carded 113 on another day. But his coach always saw that he had the temperament for the game.
“Cole he has a good head on his shoulders,” said Miller. “He was always ready to learn and listened to what I had to tell him.
“If he has a bad hole, he doesn’t let it turn into two or three bad holes. He keeps plugging away. I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
The league tournament was a case in point. With a season average of 90, Norman was not eligible for the district qualifying tournament. His only path to the district championship was a top five finish at leagues.
His league championship round started with a triple bogey, but he recovered and didn’t let the round get away from him.
“One thing for me is I don’t get mad at myself when I do bad,” Norman said. “I just play every shot one at a time. At leagues I wasn’t hitting drives as well as I can but I was finishing holes very well.”
He checked his scorecard with two holes to play and saw that he needed to par both to reach his goal of 84 for the round. He did just that.
Now he’ll join the top players in District 11 Monday at Lehigh Country Club where he’ll be part of the Class 3A field in which the top eight players move on to the PIAA East Regional
“I’m really excited,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun day. I’m not too worried about what I shoot. It’s more about getting to go there. It’s going to be challenging but it’s going to be fun.”
Other Tigers competing in the league tournament included Luke Hallman (87, 13th place), Jake Dellicker (92, 25th place), Joseph Frey (102, 45th place) and Samuel Fatzinger (126, 51st place) in the boys tournament and Gabby Smalley (119, sixth place) in the girls tournament.
Northwestern went 6-10 overall this season and 5-8 in Colonial League matches.
With a team comprised of many players who play golf as a second or third sport, Miller was pleased with his team’s season.
“I couldn’t have had a better group of kids than these,” he said. “They did good this year.”