Shaun Norris fired a final round 71 for his second Asian Tour victory, the Myanmar Open, on Sunday. Victory had been set up after 54 holes when a third round 61 had sent him clear of the chasing pack.
He won despite a major hiccup as he gave his rivals a chance with four bogeys in a span of six holes on the front nine. The 33-year-old stumbled and his seven-shot lead came down to three around the turn, which forced him to dig deep.
‘The conditions were not easy from the start. When I stepped out of the hotel this morning, it was gusty. I knew scoring was not going to be easy. I tried to give myself chances early but I hit several bad shots in the wrong places. The wind really got me in the front-nine and confused me,’ he said.
The two-time Sunshine Tour winner was strong enough to pick up the pieces yet again with three birdies on the return journey and then calmly parred the last three holes. Azuma Yano of Japan, who had an albatross on third day, shot 68 and so did Junwon Park of Korea to tie for second at 20-under. American Casey O’Toole (67) who brought himself into the mix with a third round 63, tied for fifth with Chawrasia.
‘I knew there was a couple of short holes in the back-nine and at the end of the day, they still have to catch me,’ said Norris. ‘I just told myself to get back into the swing of things and get my rhythm back.’
The Pretoria local bounced back from three consecutive missed cuts in his last three starts to record his second Tour win, having also lifted silverware at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship last October.
Norris, who has two Sunshine Tour titles, won the $750,000 tournament at 24-under 264 with rounds of 66, 66, 61 and 71. The South African now has Japan Tour status in 2016 so will enjoy ample playing options this year.
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