Nevada junior Emree Cameron parlayed back-to-back dominant rounds into a record-setting 10-under-par state title performance at the MSHSAA Class 3 Girls Golf Championships in Farmington on Tuesday.
Cameron sank 16 birdies, accentuated by a 20-foot putt on the final hole of the tournament, while firing a 5-five-under-par 67 on both days en route to the runaway victory.
“It was mind-blowing,” Cameron said of her performance at Crown Pointe Golf Club in eastern Missouri. “I was stoked to win state.”
Cameron notched a second-place finish in Class 2 last year when she was edged out by Marshfield’s Marlee Edgeman.
The two were expected to again battle it out in a sequel, however, Parkway West’s Kylie Secrest crashed the party with an opening round 68.
“After seeing scores from other district tournaments, I knew that there were other girls out there that were up to beat me,” Cameron said.
Despite the narrow lead over Secrest, Cameron said that she was “calm as a cucumber” heading into the second round.
“My plan was to just go out and play par golf and let the birdies fall,” she said, “and if I have a bogey, I can always make up for it with a birdie. I was just really calm and knew I didn’t have to stress over it or be nervous.”
Cameron added that during a discussion with her father Eric on Monday night, she was informed that a Round 2 score of even-par or better would set a new state record.
“I was like, ‘What? I didn’t even know that,’” Cameron recounted, adding that she didn’t feel any added pressure. “What I was really thinking about was just playing my game and staying ahead of my competition.”
In the end, Cameron coasted to a decisive 7-stroke win with her two-day score of 134.
In the run-up to the tournament, Cameron said that she was focused on improving in the areas of flighted-wedge shots and putting.
“If I would have hit some flighted shots during state last year, I would not have been short so many times,” she said. “So me and my dad went out on the course every night last week and practiced those shots from 100 yards and in so that I would be dialed in.”
Cameron added that those types of shots came into play Monday, with the colder temperatures and 13 to 14-mile-per-hour wind gusts.
Fresh off of victory, Cameron said that she is already excited about the prospect of repeating as state champion next year.
“It’s awesome to leave my footprint with Nevada High School,” said Cameron, who became the first female athlete in the history of the program to win a state championship. “I’m so excited and cannot wait for the next chapter.”
Nevada coach Brian Leonard is also eagerly anticipating the next chapter.
“Emree has worked so hard to get here and she so deserves it,” he said. “This sure makes a golf coach proud.”
Cameron has been on cloud nine of late, having also recently committed to the University of Louisville golf program.
While also drawing heavy interest from several other NCAA Division I schools, Cameron said that she was blown away on her official visit to Louisville.
“I haven’t seen better facilities out there,” she said, “and I can’t wait to be practicing on them every day. I can see myself just getting better and better.”
Cameron said that it also felt like a family atmosphere on the recruiting trip.
“As soon as I stepped on campus it felt like home,” she said.
Helping matters, Cameron’s good friend and fellow Missouri prep golf star Bailey Burkett, committed to Louisville. Florida-native Madison Moman, another friend of Cameron’s, also inked with Louisville.
“I’m so excited to go and play college golf with them,” Cameron said.
FULL STATE TOURNEY RESULTS: MSHSAA 2023-2024 Class 3 Girls Golf Championships