Norris Claims Fiji International Crown
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2017-08-21
Australian Jason Norris claimed his maiden European Tour title in style as a final-round 67 earned him a four-stroke victory at the Fiji International.
A brilliant birdie burst on the front nine put Norris in control and he carded two birdies and two bogeys after the turn to finish the week on 14 under par.
Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond finished in a tie for second place alongside Australian duo David McKenzie and James Marchesani after producing a course-record 64 which featured an eagle and six birdies.
Norris began the day one shot behind overnight leader Wade Ormsby after posting a third-round 70 on Saturday.
But he soon caught his compatriot at the summit, picking up a shot at the first to move to ten under par.
And Norris took the outright lead when he rolled in his tricky ten-foot birdie putt at the third to get to 11 under before making another gain at the next.
Norris dropped his first shot of the day at the fifth but bounced back in style, reeling off three straight birdies from the seventh to reach 14 under and open up a four-shot lead.
After carding a bogey at the tenth, the 44 year old safely parred the next two holes before notching his seventh birdie of the day at the 13th.
Norris made another bogey on the short 15th but responded with a birdie at the long 17th to head to the 18th tee with a commanding lead.
He then tapped in his par putt at the last to secure the trophy.
"I think it was just our week," said Norris. "Everything aligned and putts dropped and some good shots came, it was amazing.
"I said a couple of years ago when I was about to quit that I didn't want to give it away until I had won a big tournament because I know I can.
"I just tried to stay switched on and not think about the future, things come into your head, you try to block them out. I was really happy with our process today.
"I played that hole badly all week so to hole a good putt on the first for birdie settled things. I just stuck to one shot at a time but I putted really well on the front nine and that is what gave it to us."
Janewattananond came into the day eight shots off the lead but made four birdies on the front nine to jump up the leaderboard.
And after making further birdies at the 11th and 16th, he drained his 66-foot eagle putt at the par-five 17th to get to ten under.
McKenzie also made an eagle on the 17th in his closing 67, rolling in from 25 feet.
Marchesani made a slow start to his final round, reaching the turn in 38 after carding two bogeys on the front nine.
But he made amends on the back nine, picking up shots at the tenth, 12th, 16th and 17th to join a three-way tie for second.
Peter Wilson, who was on course to take second place before a double bogey at the last saw him slip back to nine under, finished in joint fifth alongside Daniel Pearce, Adam Bland and Ormsby.