SA’s Shaun Norris wins number five in Japan
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JOHANNESBURG – Shaun Norris of South Africa won his fifth title on the Japan Golf Tour on Sunday after taking the inaugural Golf Partner Pro-Am in a three-way playoff.
A final round of seven-under-par 63 saw him finish regulation play on 21-under-par for the 72 holes, level with Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent and 54-hole leader Tomoharu Otsuki of Japan. Vincent closed with an eight-under 62 to get into the playoff, and Otsuki signed for a two-under 68.
Norris opened the tournament with a 10-under 60, and his second and third rounds of 68 each left him with work to do in the final round. He started that work immediately, with consecutive birdies on the opening three holes. He dropped a shot on the fourth, but he made two more birdies on the seventh and ninth. An eagle on 10 and a birdie on 17 completed his work in regulation.
Otsuki, who had in fact been the leader since the first round, bogeyed the 18th in regulation play and opened the door for the three-way playoff with Norris and Vincent. On the first extra hole, Otsuki made double-bogey and fell out. Then on the second playoff hole, Vincent failed to save par and Norris took his first victory of the year.
Seven players – Ryo Ishikawa, Angelo Que, Eric Sugimoto, Kazuki Higa, Young-Han Song, Shotaro Wada and Hirotaro Naito – all finished in a share of fourth at 19-under.
Also, Seong-Hyeon Kim of South signed for a 12-under in the final round to tie the lowest score recorded on the Japan Golf Tour of 58 set by Ryo Ishikawa. Kim finished in a share of 11th.
The win netted Norris over R1.2-million in prize money. - African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Michael Sherman