Birkeland and Norrman Named GCAA Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars
By Keith Michlig
AMERICUS — Georgia Southwestern State University men’s golfers Elias Birkeland and Vincent Norrmanhave been named Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars for the 2019-20 season as announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America on Tuesday afternoon, July 21. Both of the Hurricanes are first-time recipients of the honor.
Birkeland, a marketing major from Molde, Norway, completed his third season with the Hurricanes. He holds a 3.61 cumulative GPA. Over three events this season, Birkeland compiled a 74.89 scoring average in nine rounds of competition. He fired his low round, a 1-under 71, in the final round of the Hurricane Invitational on Feb. 25.
Norrman, a business management major, owns a 3.23 career GPA. He was in the midst of a historic senior season when it was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent cancellation of all collegiate and conference championships. The Stockholm, Sweden, native won an eye-popping five tournaments this year, finishing in the Top 10 of all seven events played, to end the year ranked the No. 1 NCAA Division II individual according to the Golfstat computer rankings. His Golfstat adjusted scoring average of 69.25 was the lowest across all divisions of the NCAA. He currently has a World Amateur Golf Ranking of No. 43.
Norrman’s 69.10 stroke average this season was the lowest ever posted by any Peach Belt Conference player. His low round of the season was an 8-under 64 at the Nova Southeastern University Shark Invitational, Oct. 7-8, on the PGA National Champions Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He shot par or better in 19 of the 20 rounds played. His best 36-hole score was 135 (7-under) and his best 54-hole showing was a 204 (12-under).
A five-time Peach Belt Conference Golfer of the Week during the 2019-20 season, and 10-time selection during his career, Norrman is a three-time All-Region and PING All-America selection. He led Georgia Southwestern to its first-ever Golfstat team ranking of No. 1 in October and the Hurricanes did not relinquish the top spot.
To be eligible for Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar status an individual must be a sophomore, junior or senior academically in Division I, II, III, and NAIA, or receiving their Associate’s Degree and in their last year of athletic eligibility in the NJCAA. In addition, they must have participated in 40 percent of their team’s competitive rounds for the shortened 2019-20 season, have a stroke-average under 76.0 in Division I, 78.0 in Division II, 78.0 in NAIA and 79.0 in Division III, 77.0 in NJCAA, and maintain a minimum cumulative career grade-point average of 3.2. A recipient must also be of high moral character and be in good standing at his college or university.
Birkeland and Norrman were among more than 1,000 student-athletes to earn the award across all levels of collegiate golf.
A total of eight Hurricanes have earned All-America Scholar honors since 2015. Former GSW golfers Nick Ward, Hayes Dupree and Anders Olsson each earned the award twice during their careers, while Ryan Cahill, Frasier Johnston and Chris Low earned the award once.