Norris wins Japan Open Golf Championship by 4 shots

Oct 17, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

Shaun Norris pulled off a four-shot victory on Sunday in the Japan Open Golf Championship as he cruised to his sixth title on the Japan Golf Tour and punched his ticket to the 150th Open Championship in St Andrews next year.

The big South African did the heavy lifting with a pair of 64s in the second and third rounds, during which he opened up a five-stroke margin heading into the final round. In the end, he was able to enjoy something of a victory lap during those final 18 holes, after he made a bogey on the par-four seventh.

He kept things on an even keel despite the dropped shot, and birdies on 12 and 15 sealed the deal for him as Yuta Ikeda’s closing four-under-par 67 was only enough to close the gap to four. Norris was on 19-under for the tournament, and Ikeda finished on 15-under.

Third place was shared on 11-under by Tadahiro Takayama, Thanyakon Khrongpha of Thailand and Ryosuke Kinoshita. Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent closed with a one-over 72 to finish on seven-under-par in a share of 15th.

The Japan Open is one of the three richest tournaments on the Japan Golf Tour, with a prize fund of over R27-million in 2021; Norris takes home R5.3-million of that. It is also the tour’s designated ‘flagship event’ for the purposes of the Official World Golf Ranking, with a minimum winner’s points allocation of 32 points. The winner also receives an invitation to the following year’s Open Championship. Founded in 1927, it is one of the oldest tournaments in Japan.

Norris will miss out on playing the Japan Golf Tour’s season finale, the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup on December 2, as it clashes with the South African Open Championship.

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