Shaun Norris will be drawing motivation from his late father ahead of the much-anticipated start of the 2020 SA Open at Randpark Golf Club.
Norris, who had a phenomenal year on the Japan Golf Tour in 2019 where he finished second on the Order of Merit list, admits it has been a very difficult year for him and his family following his father’s passing from cancer in July last year.
‘It was just hard for me after my dad. I felt like I needed family around me. It felt like I was carrying so much on my shoulders. I couldn’t talk to anybody. When you lose a family member, it’s hard to talk about it with anyone else but family,’ said Norris.
Norris’ brother, Kyle, who played as a pro at a stage, has been his caddie for the last few weeks in order to help him focus on his golf, while also mourning the loss of his father.
The 37-year-old will use his father as inspiration to leave his mark on home soil this week with a solid performance in Johannesburg.
‘Every week I’m playing for my dad. Always. His biggest wish was to play golf and he lived that through us. So we know he would’ve wanted this,’ said Norris.
He heads into the week as the third-highest ranked South African golfer in the world (59th), just behind Erik van Rooyen and defending champion Louis Oozthuizen, and has heaped praise on the Japanese Golf Tour for helping his growth and development as a pro golfer.
‘I’ve fallen in love with the culture and the people in Asia. I really enjoy being out there. So’ the good golf just follows on from that.’
Norris, though, is excited to be back at the Randpark Golf Club again after finishing third at the Joburg Open in 2017.
‘The course is looking phenomenal. With all the rain they’ve had, the greenkeeping staff have done an amazing job. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve had some good finishes around here,’ said Norris.