Prep sports writer

Reggie Norman picked up an inkling that his oldest son, Cy, was crazy about golf when he was five years old.

“He woke up at 5 a.m. on his own to watch the British Open,” Reggie said Wednesday morning.

One day, people might be waking up at 5 a.m. to watch Cy Norman play the British Open.

Sound far-fetched? So does a 13-year old kid shooting a 66 with a hole-in-one. Cy did that last week.

And he didn’t just do that on some goat track while shooting from the red tees and slipping in a hand wedge. He did it during an IESA (Illinois Elementary School Association) Sectional event at Eagle Ridge Golf Course in Paris, which bills itself as having one of the most challenging back nines in east-central Illinois.

How challenging was it to Cy? Try not very. He shredded it to the tune of a 30, including an ace at the 160-yard 11th hole, and turned a 3-stroke deficit with eight holes left into a win.

The best news for Reggie? Next year, Cy starts his freshman year at Benton. Cy will be playing golf for his dad, whose team figures to get a whole lot better.

“I can’t wait until he’s up here,” Reggie said, equal parts excitement and parental pride in his voice. “He plays in national tournaments and he does this all the time. He’s more well-known around the United States than he is here.”

That might not be the case too much longer. Cy Norman’s resume almost screams overqualified for high school golf at 13. He has won numerous local and regional events, usually finishing under par. It doesn’t take very long for a Google search of Cy Norman to turn up his considerable accomplishments.

Reggie Norman said that Cy has been hitting a golf ball ever since he could walk.

“I’ve never had to ask him to practice one day,” Reggie said. “He can’t get enough of it. He’s already a plus 3 handicap, which is very unheard of. He’s been a scratch or better golfer since he was 11 — from the men’s tees.”

For those who don’t follow golf, a plus 3 handicap means that you would be getting strokes from Cy if you played him. You would need them, and it probably wouldn’t be enough.

When you shoot a 66, whether you’re 13 or 53, whether it’s at Eagle Ridge or Augusta, it’s not some one-off deal. Reggie says the best club in his kid’s bag might not be the driver or the 7-iron or the wedge.

“He’s really good in every aspect, but his best asset is his head,” Reggie said. “He will always bounce back after a bad hole. You can’t ever count him out. He shot even on the front last week and was down 3 shots … he just never gives up.”

Plenty of things can happen between now and 2023, Cy’s senior year. It’s just life’s unpredictably rich pageant. Heck, he might not even win the IESA championship Saturday at Kellogg Golf Course in Peoria. You can’t play defense in golf, after all.

But on this current course, it’s hard to imagine that Cy probably wouldn’t win a scholarship offer from somewhere. Whatever happens, Reggie just wants him to have fun.

“I started him out just hoping to have a tee-time partner, but he has taken it to a whole other level,” Reggie said. “I just want him to make his own choice about where he goes to college, enjoy the ride and enjoy the process of seeing how good he can get. My job is not to get in the way.”

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