ANNA — Benton freshman Cy Norman shattered the course record for nine holes with a 7-under par 28 on the front nine, and the tournament record for 18 holes with an 9-under par 62 to lead Benton to its fourth straight title at the 17th Annual Anna-Jonesboro McDonald’s Boys Golf Challenge on Saturday at Union County Country Club.
"The first goal was to win this tournament as a team," Norman said. "This was my first time playing this course and then I just happened to get hot with the putter."
Benton easily won the title with a 295, finishing 24 strokes ahead of Marion (319). Nashville finished third at 334 followed by Carbondale (335), Herrin (336), Trico (338), Massac County (340), Anna-Jonesboro (341), Harrisburg (350) and West Frankfort (352) to round out the top 10.
"I forgot we had won three in a row coming in because I worry about today," said Benton coach Reggie Norman. "We cracked 300 and that was what we wanted to do today. What I really love is that we didn’t have a score over 80 in all six guys. I love this team and like were we can go."
Norman also shattered the school record for 18 holes by four strokes and for nine holes by three strokes.
Rounding out the Rangers scorers were senior Brad Hammond (75), senior Cole Brugger (78), senior Jared Shaw (80), senior Brett Merkel (80) and junior Peyton Sieveking (80).
Norman, who shot an 81 in his first high school tournament Thursday, opened on hole one and by the time he had made the turn and bagged a birdie on hole 10 he already had an insurmountable lead of eight strokes over second place finisher junior Jarrett James from Chester.
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Norman, who is named for Major League pitcher Cy Young, started his round with a par, a birdie, and par before going on a run of seven straight birdies. After four pars he sank his ninth birdie on 15 and finished out his record round with three pars and no bogeys.
"I’ve never had a stretch like that before," Norman said. "At the turn I didn’t take time to eat because I thought it was going to be a quick turn and we just went straight to 10. My longest putt was on the par three third hole when I had to make a 25-foot putt. I hit 17 of 18 greens and the closest I came to a bogey was on 14 when I had to get up and down and make a 10-footer for par. That was good to keep momentum flowing."
James shot even par over the front nine with a bogey on five and a birdie on nine and finished round with seven pars and birdies on 13 and 16 to finish the tournament as the only other golfer to shoot under par with a 2-under 69.
Trico senior Eddie Brees finished third with a 1-over 72 after winning a chip-off with Massac County senior Micah Troutt. Marion senior Issac Hammet finished fifth after shooting a 73.
The next four spots were also determined by chip-off with West Frankfort junior Tyson Elko taking sixth with a 74 over Anna-Jonesboro sophomore Luke Lasley and Hammond eighth with a 75 over Carbondale freshman Ian Davis.
Marion senior Brett Lewis shot 76 to edge out Hardin County junior Calen Banks by one stroke for 10th place. Brugger and Anna-Jonesboro senior Peter Hauser shot 78 as the only other golfers to finish in the 70s.