Japan embraces South Africa’s Shaun Norris as national Open champion

0
310
Shaun Norris has been runner-up for two years since 2018, and finally accomplished the task by bettering the Japan Open tournament record by a shot. Photo: compleatgolfer.com
Shaun Norris has been runner-up for two years since 2018, and finally accomplished the task by bettering the Japan Open tournament record by a shot. Photo: compleatgolfer.com

Shaun Norris succeeded in keeping his lead and won by four shots at the Japan Open on Sunday. The South African had a comfortable six-shot lead going into the final round and played safe with a round of 70 to grab his second Japan Golf Tour title.

Exclusive Read: New mindset and setup, Khalin Joshi thriving as a ‘rookie’

Shaun had a tough time dealing with the changing wind at the Biwako Country Club and a rampaging Yuta Ikeda. “When I saw the leaderboard I realised Yuta was moving up really quickly,” said Shaun.

This got him to shift up gears and he answered with two birdies. Shaun was darting the pin on the 12th, and when he made a 5-metre on the 15, he made a fist pump to show his confidence.

Across Shores: Fowler, McIlroy in tussle for supremacy @ Summit

Shaun has been runner-up for two years since 2018, and finally accomplished the task by bettering the tournament record by a shot. (Jumbo Ozaki had shot 18-under in 1994).

“It is always special to win a National Open wherever the country may be. I am grateful that I was able to win in Japan’s National Open,” said Shaun.

Known to be straightforward with emotions, his eyes filled up with tears.

Yuta made a great charge on Sunday and scored 67 to get close to Shaun but couldn’t cover the four-shot margin and finished sole 2nd, his third time at the Japan Open.

Also Read: Knock, knock, the door finally opens for Lyle Rowe

Ryosuke Kinoshita was in trouble in the final round but managed an even-par round and finished T3 at 11-under. He is back as No.1 on the Money Rankings.

Defending champion Yuki Inamori finished T7 with 9-under and his wish for a three-peat wasn’t granted. Satoshi Kodaira, who was aiming for his second title here, stumbled on the first four holes, making a triple, double and two bogeys to finish T11.

The best amateur award went to Ren Yonezawa for finishing T38.

JGTO

Must Watch: ‘Pampered’ son Viraj Madappa a tough nut on golf course